THE trainer of International Boxing Organization flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane has been accused of pulling out a gun and threatening Filipino boxing manager Ryan Gabriel, when he reportedly insisted on getting the purse of his ward – the challenger Renz Rosia as stipulated in the contract after the weigh-in.
The trainer Nick Durandt presented the purse, but insisted in paying it after the fight.
“The most shocking thing occurred. In front of the judges, Mr. Durandt flashed his gun at me and told me that if I don’t show up at the fight, he told me that I would know what will happen, implying a threat. My boxer saw this, and lost his focus, and we all basically feared for our lives,” Gabriel, in a letter to IBO president Ed Levine, a copy of which was furnished this writer, wrote.
The Filipino boxing manager added: “I have been to several countries for fights and have loved boxing for many years. Never have I experienced such a brutal and barbaric act, and I am very saddened by these events.”
He expressed the hope that “there will be proper disciplinary action regarding this matter and that all boxers will feel safe no matter where they travel.”
Gabriel said the judges can attest to this, even as he disclosed that when referee/judge/suprvisor Len Hunt “found out about these happenings, he was very concerned and ensured our safety up until we reached the airport. I thank him for his sincerity and assistance.”
Mthalane won by a ninth-round TKO to retain his title and improve his record to 32-2 with 1 knockouts, while Rosia dropped to 12-4, with 6 knockouts after the loss.
In another questionable decision, Gabriel said that after the weigh-in, the Commission “insisted on having Rosia’s blood drawn for an AIDS test. We do not oppose this, but I believe we should have been informed in advance and I would have conducted the test in Manila. This insistence by the boxing commission weakened my boxer.”
He added: “I am writing this letter to express my concern regarding the fight between my boxer Rosia and his opponent, current IBO flyweight champion Mthalane. I accept defeat in this fight. However, I would like to report what happened before the fight that should concern the IBO and the sport of boxing.
“However, this is my main concern. In front of the judges, Mr. Durandt flashed his gun at me and told me that if I don’t show up at the fight, he told me that I would know what will happen, implying a threat. My boxer saw this, and lost his focus, and we all basically feared for our lives. I hope there will be proper disciplinary action regarding this matter and that all boxers will feel safe no matter where they travel.”
Promoter and boxing manager Elmer Anuran informed The Standard that Gabriel and Rosia’s team were in Dubai en route to Manila.
Gabriel himself told IBO president Levine: “I am heartbroken about these incidents. Boxing is a beautiful sport, and no life should be threatened by it.”