'Victory sweet revenge for Thysse'
Boxing bubble felt like trip abroad for Durandt
Well-travelled boxing trainer Damien Durandt says the seven days he spent in the bio-bubble at Emperors Palace with his newly crowned WBA Pan African and IBO African junior middleweight champion Brandon Thysse was similar to being overseas with a fighter.
“It is strange that you are here in the country and your family is around the corner but you cannot go see them. But it is done for a good cause. Last week for me was similar to being overseas,” said Durandt, who travelled almost all around the globe when he was still an assistant to his late father, successful trainer Nick.
“The only difference is that you are still able to drive around and go to malls when you are abroad. Last week was about get up, train and go back to your room.”
Durandt said Golden Gloves delivered a super show and followed all health protocols to a tee.
“Fighting in an empty venue is a different story altogether. We are accustomed to being greeted with that wonderful noise from the fans when we walk to the ring. That was missing. Boxers throw wonderful punches and there is no-one to shout and scream in appreciation; that is strange,” he said.
Durandt produced his 16th champion since taking over the reins after the death of his father in 2017. Thysse won the WBA Pan African and IBO Africa belts.
But Damien is not gloating about his success, which includes guiding Ilunga Makabu to winning the WBC cruiserweight in January.
“Like any other trainer it is a nice feeling to produce a champion,” said Durandt of his charge Thysse.
“Victory was sweet revenge for Brandon. Boyd [Allen] defeated him on points last year.”
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