Renowned South African boxing coach Colin Nathan. Photo: Anna Kamolane/Independent Media

JOHANNESBURG – South African boxing trainer Colin Nathan says China is a "sleeping giant" as he prepares to elevate the nation into a viable destination for this country.

Nathan’s recent trip to China for a World Boxing Council training seminar was so successful he has been lined up for five more such visits in 2018.

Nathan and top WBC official Bob Yalen hosted the seminar in Shanghai, which a range of boxers and officials attended. The SA trainer said he was blown away by the interest in boxing.

“China is definitely a sleeping giant,” he said. “The facility we worked out of, the Shanghai Dragon Warrior Gym, was world-class and the talent we got to see was fascinating. 

"One kid in particular had the X-factor. You lay your eyes on someone like that and you just know . . . he had the hands, the movement, the boxing brain.”

Describing the visit as one of the highlights of his career, Nathan said he used the trip as an opportunity to widen his perspective. 

He even speculated that there were opportunities for his promoter, Golden Gloves, which in the past has promoted Chinese fighters both in Monte Carlo and SA.

Nathan said that apart from a keen willingness to learn, there is ambition in Chinese boxing to step beyond Asia and into the wider world. Only a few Chinese fighters like Zhilei Zhang and Zou Shiming have done so.

“It’s this kind of visit that is so inspiring,” said an excited Nathan. “I was reminded how universal our great sport is and it was tremendous to give something back, so a big thank you to the WBC for the honour.”

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