Trainer Colin Nathan has screamed himself hoarse in the corner last night.

His fighter Sivenathi Nontshinga had won a thrilling rematch, reclaiming the IBF light-flyweight title from Mexican Adrian Curiel – In Mexico.

They topped a Matchroom and DAZN show in Oaxaca.

Last November, Curiel knocked out the South African with one of the best right hands of 2023 in Monte Carlo, winning the title and giving a 12-0 Nontshinga his first loss.

Speaking the day after Nontshinga’s 10th-round stoppage revenge, a delighted Nathan, travelling back to South Africa, told “I’m over the moon. It’s a great win for the team and obviously it’s monumental for South African boxing. Sive becomes the only South African fighter to have ever lost his world title and then immediately get a rematch and get his world title back, so there was a lot of history and the fact we could do it in the guy’s backyard with 10,000 screaming Mexican fans made it even more sweet.”

Nathan lives and breathes boxing. His champion was called out shortly afterwards on social media by Sunny Edwards, who wants to get back into the title mix following the first loss of his career, to Jesse ‘Bam; Rodriguez at the back end of 2023.

Nontshinga, now 13-1 with 10 stoppages, is likely going to have to face his IBF mandatory next, Filipino Cristian Araneta, but that will come later.

“It’s one of those fights where it was absolutely breath-taking, wasn’t it?” Nathan added, of Nontshinga’s Mexican heroics. “I’ve been in a few fights over the years where you’re sitting there watching, but all of a sudden you think, ‘Wait a minute, I’m actually in it’.”

Nathan is an experienced head in the corner already. He has enjoyed success with the likes of Hekkie Budler, Moruti Mthalane and Ryno Liebenberg, among others and his hot Box Gym is well respected in the fight community.

Today, he and Nontshinga were praised for their risky tactics, especially after what happened in Monte Carlo. The South African was there to be hit, and he took plenty, but they new success would come at a cost. In some ways, Nathan felt it was actually Curiel’s success early in the fight that cost him the title 

“The strategy going in was to take the Mexican in the pocket,” Nathan explained. “Even though we were losing those early rounds – and I felt we were behind – but we were getting closer and closer. The Mexican was getting visibly slowed down to the body. His volume was higher than ours, he was throwing more punches than us and winning the rounds, but we were affective in losing those rounds, if that makes sense. He [Curiel] was winning at a cost. 

“And as soon as I saw Curiel wince to the bodyshot in the seventh round, I said now’s the time to switch to the second tactic of what we wanted to do, let’s establish our range and I knew then it was game over.”

Nathan was thrilled, not just with the result and the fight, but for his fighter. Too often, fighters are condemned after a loss, but Nathan sees what happened in Monte Carlo only as a lesson.

“It just shows you, when a fighter loses, it’s not the end of the world and sometimes fighters only learn after they get defeated, and I think last night was a prime example of that,” said Nathan.

The deposed Curiel drops to 24–5-1, with five stoppage wins.