Busy Nathan on a hot run, expecting more

Colin Nathan working DeeJay Kriel’s corner on Saturday. Pic: Nick Lourens

If it’s not busy, then Colin Nathan isn’t working hard enough.

Inevitably, it’s always frantic and this week was no exception with two of his fighters pulling off wins and three more engaged in delicate negotiations for big fights.

It’s just how he likes it.

On Saturday, he worked DeeJay Kriel’s corner, helping engineer a good win over Xolile Magusha, and on Sunday he took charge as Hedda Wolmarans produced the performance of the day at a tournament in Turffontein.

“It’s been good,” he said from his HotBox gym on Wednesday. “DeeJay keeps developing, showing promise. He has a great boxing brain and continues to grow. Remember, he’s just 22.

“There was no complacency against Magusha. We planned a slow start . . . we knew Magusha would bring a different game. The first four or five rounds he counter-punched. We also knew his natural instinct was to be aggressive and fight. We always thought the fight would be won in the last four rounds. I told DeeJay in camp not to panic, he’d be strong in the last four rounds – and he was.”

He was equally proud of Wolmarans, who fought again after a long injury break. She showed her strength, especially inside, and pulled off an important win against 14-bout former SA lightweight champion Ndabayini Kholose.

Away from the action, Nathan has been working the phone and email hard for the like of Ryno Liebenberg, Hekkie Budler and Moruti Mthalane.

Both promoter Rodney Berman and Nathan petitioned the IBF to revisit the controversy which saw Ryno Liebenberg recently lose a dodgy technical decision against number four-rated Vincent Feigenbutz. Daryl Peoples, the IBF president, is expected to do the right thing and order a rematch.

Nathan would like it to be in SA, but says he and Liebenberg would happily travel if it guaranteed a second crack at the German.

Meanwhile, the IBF has mandated a title fight for Budler against dual champion Ryoichi Taguchi, which is set for May 19 and 20, most likely in Japan.

Hekkie Budler.

“It’ a really good choice,” said a bullish Nathan. “Taguchi’s style makes him easier to prepare for than [previous opponent] Milan Melindo. Hekkie likes to fight tall guys.”

Asked about the danger of fighting in his opponent’s back yard, Nathan said he was used to “crap decisions” and had learned to roll with the punches.

“I’ve become numb to it all, but I have plenty of experience of going on the road and winning too.”

Moruti Mthalane.

As for Mthalane, the former IBF champion, he has been handed an official eliminator against fifth-rated Muhammad Waseem as number four Andrew Selby turned it down to pursue a European championship bout.

The IBF has stipulated that it take place in the next 60-90 days with a purse bid a likely scenario. There’s talk in the air of champion Donnie Nietes moving up, offering the tantalising possibility of Mthalane versus Waseem being elevated to full championship status.

Exciting times indeed.