Nick Durandt backs bantamweight Ludumo Lamati to be future star

Golden Gloves 17/07/2015

Trainer Nick Durandt has been around long enough to recognise the real deal. When he says that Ludumo Lamati is one such fighter, you sit up and take notice.

The tall bantamweight has won all six pro bouts, five inside the distance, and is poised to announce himself in dramatic style on July 30 when he fights Cebo Ngema at Emperors Palace.

“This kid is fantastic, he has it all,” said Durandt. “I wouldn’t hesitate to put him in with any bantamweight in the country, right now.”

Lamati is chief sparring partner to former IBF and current IBO flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane and gives as good as he gets, according to Durandt.

“I don’t buy the line that we don’t have talent in this country. There’s plenty. You just have to identify it and nurture it.”

Lamati, from Port Elizabeth, was a top-class amateur who represented South Africa all over the world.

He went the distance in his first pro fight, but has banged out all five subsequent challengers, including Bulelani Nama, who had fought 16 pro bouts.

Said promoter Jeff Ellis: “Plenty of people are talking about this kid. What’s not to love about a bantamweight with a big punch? He’ll enjoy huge TV coverage and benefit from the exposure to the Emperors crowd.”

Indeed, apart from SuperSport screening the action, negotiations are advanced to also broadcast the show on a major network in Canada, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.

Also on the undercard, former two-time South African amateur champion Fernando Rodrigues will be making his professional debut and popular DeeJay Kriel will be eyeing a fifth successive win in the pro ranks.

In a further development this week, the Dowayne Combrink-Giovanni Bushby fight was postponed to the next Golden Gloves event for strategic reasons.

The main fight features SA cruiserweight champion Deon Coetzee against Kevin Lerena in a must-see title bout.