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Sat Apr 19 13:57:58 SAST 2014

Durandt hits out at SABC TV

DAVID ISAACSON | 14 March, 2012 07:070 Comments
Nick Durandt during the Junior Lightweight fight between Isaac Chilende and Oupa Mahlangu at the Graceland Casino in Secunda
Image by: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

NICK Durandt has criticised the SABC, accusing the national broadcaster of killing boxing by refusing to televise fights.

"I'm not taking on any fighters at the moment because I can't deliver," the flamboyant trainer said yesterday.

He was speaking at a press conference to announce the Gauteng sport department's sponsorship of the IBF junior-featherweight title bout between champion Takalani Ndlovu and Jeffrey Mathebula, the Durandt-trained challenger.

Promoter Branco Milenkovic said they were still trying to secure television rights for the tournament at Carnival City on March 24.

"We are busy talking to both free-to-air broadcasters and hope to have an answer by the end of the week."

SABC, which pays TV rights fees to screen bouts, hasn't flighted live boxing for about a year.

Durandt said without the backing of the SABC, he was unable to guarantee fights for his boxers, even his world champions.

"We in boxing have won more world titles than any other sport but we are treated as the black sheep," lamented Durandt, adding local fighters were being forced to go overseas for world title fights.

Gauteng sport MEC Lebogang Maile said Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula was tackling the SABC issue, but added that the private sector also needed to support boxing.

Milenkovic confirmed he would have been unable to stage the tournament without the Gauteng government's support.

One of the spin-offs of the sponsorship deal is that Milenkovic's company will help three gyms in underprivileged areas, starting with the Jersey Joe gym in Alexandra. Milenkovic believes the other two gyms will be in Katlehong and Soweto.

The total cost would be between R500000 and R1-million, said the promoter.

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Durandt hits out at SABC TV

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