‘Tommy’s finished as a fighter’ – furious Berman

_DSC0030Tommy Oosthuizen’s demons have caught up with him again.

The unbeaten boxer and his manager have informed Rodney Berman that he is in no condition to challenge WBA light-heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer in Germany in March, forcing the cancellation of the big fight.

Oosthuizen’s drugs and alcohol relapse comes as a devastating blow to Golden Gloves, but is hardly a surprise given his actions in the past. He’s dropped out of fights previously and gone walkabout from Harold Volbrecht’s gym. He’s every inch the “bad boy” of SA boxing, a tag that will stick given this devastating turn of events. Continue reading

Hop, skip and jump to family boxing day

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The great Willie Toweel, one of the best exponents of skipping in SA boxing history.

Promoters Rodney Berman and Jeff Ellis are going full-out to ensure Prospects at the Palace in two weeks is a family affair.

Boxing fans can not only look forward to 10 four-rounders featuring some of the country’s best talent. “Family” will be the theme of the day with a jumping castle plus hot dogs and popcorn for the little ones, who won’t have to pay to attend the tournament if they are under-12. Continue reading

‘Tommy Gun’ gets WBA title shot

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Tommy Oosthuizen gets his long-awaited WBA title shot on March 12. Pic: N-Squared.

In announcing Tommy Oosthuizen’s world title bout against Juergen Braehmer on March 12, promoter Rodney Berman called it the “fight of his life” today.

Braehmer (47-2, 35 KOs) will defend his WBA world light-heavyweight title against “Tommy Gun” (25-0-2, 14 KOs) on March 12 at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany.

The bout was originally scheduled to take place last November in Monaco before a hand injury suffered by Braehmer forced the fight’s postponement. Now, fully fit, the reigning champion is relishing a return to Neubrandenburg, where he claimed the WBA world title back in 2013. Continue reading

Kamanga up for all challenges

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Paul Kamanga and Hekkie Budler – the headliners at Emperors Palace on March 19. Pic: N-Squared.

Nothing seems to faze welterweight contender Paul Kamanga.

Told that he was fighting Russian hard man Roman Belaev in March, he was nonplussed.

“I’m very excited. He’s a lively, strong sort of guy and keeps coming, but I like that. He’s one dimensional, I’ll pick him off. I saw him fight in Monte Carlo, where he was very good, and I saw him against Ali Funeka. These are the sort of fights I want.”

The year reckons to be a vital one for Kamanga. If he comes through Belaev unscathed, he will fight a month later, in April, in the US. Continue reading

Budler earns Super status – and a tough hombré

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Hekkie Budler – Super champion to match his superstar status. Pic: N-Squared.

South Africa has its first WBA Super champion after the World Boxing Association confirmed Hekkie Budler’s elevation from regular champion this week.

It’s an enormous endorsement of the strawweight champion’s status and puts him in the league of Leo Santa Cruz, Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev and Tyson Fury, who all hold Super titles.

The announcement coincided with confirmation on Thursday that Budler’s next title defence will come against Nicaragua’s Byron Rojas (16-2), the 10th-ranked contender. He is also ranked number two by the WBC and number seven by the IBF. Continue reading

The remarkable story of boxing tyro Joshua Studdard

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Joshua Studdard, right, on the attack in his most recent fight, in 2015. Pic: N-Squared

He’s young, flashy, talks a charm and can fight.

Joshua Studdard is just four bouts into a pro career, but already he has made seasoned fans sit up and take note.

Still just 24, he’s already experienced many of the highs and lows of the fight game: frustration, disappointment, anger and elation. He’s a worldly-wise man, though, and isn’t backward in coming forward.

“My understanding is simple: I see myself as the future of the sport,” he says. “I’m here to make a difference.” Continue reading