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Boxing | South Africa

Colin Nathan © Gallo Images

SA trainer to learn from Roach

A leading SA boxing trainer, Colin Nathan, is getting ready to attend a two-week workshop with Freddie Roach, a celebrated mentor of world champions.

"I've been to Roach's boxing headquarters in West Hollywood, and seeing him operate is a revelation," Nathan said on Monday.

One of the boxers he trains is IBO strawweight champion Hekkie Budler.

Roach has trained 38 world champions, including the legendary eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao.

Nathan said he would learn more in two weeks in Hollywood than in years in South Africa. "Freddie has taken the art of boxing training to a new scientific and comprehensive level.

"He is not only grooming his fighters for their work in the ring, but guiding them to become better individuals outside boxing.

"In my previous meetings with Roach, I picked up numerous tips that have proved invaluable in the preparations of Hekkie and my other fighters," Nathan said.

His fighters have won 13 and lost only one fights in their last 14 outings.

Nathan said he was sure he would return a better trainer after the two weeks, working 12 hours a day with Roach.

"One of the important things I learnt from my previous meetings with Roach is never to stop learning," Nathan said.

"He says he learns something new every day. That reflects the humility of the man."

It was announced on Monday that up-and-coming Joey Stiglingh would be given the opportunity to fight for an African Boxing Union title at Emperors Palace in March.

This follows his convincing victory over Goodman Zanempi in the annual Makapanstad tournament over the weekend.

The WBC recently announced that ABU titleholders would be recognised as Africa's representatives in the organisation's proposed series of intercontinental championship bouts.


Meanwhile, former heavyweight champion Francois Botha has lost 8 kg in training for his fight against Sonny Bill Williams in Brisbane in February.

Botha intends to keep training throughout the festive period as he prepares for the bout against the former New Zealand rugby international.

"I've cancelled all vacation plans. For now it's roadwork in the heat of the day and working out in the gym with weights and pads. In January, it will just be sparring," Botha said this week.

The 44-year-old former WBF champion added: "This will be a WBA International title bout, so there's plenty at stake.”


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