Golden Gloves has locked down two of its headliners for its opening tournament of 2018 at Emperors Palace on March 3, but a third, albeit extreme, possibility has been floated as an additional fight.
“I don’t believe either will step up, but Tommy Oosthuizen against Thabiso Mchunu would be a fantastic fight for the South African public,” said Rodney Berman on Monday morning.
Berman explained that SA fight fans demanded entertainment and it was his responsibility to put together the fights that matter. “Frankly, they have a responsibility to step up after their recent travails.”
Oosthuizen’s troubled recent history is a matter of public record and a furious Berman was quoted as saying he was a shocking waste of talent. However, when he is switched on and away from the demons, “Tommy Gun” is SA’s most gifted talent with fast hands and tremendous instincts.
The southpaw (27-1-2) lost for the first time earlier this year when he was merely going through the motions against unheralded Igor Mikhalkin, dropping a decision in Germany.
At 29, he still has time on his side, but he’ll have to move fast – the boxing world will leave him behind if he doesn’t commit to cleaning up his act.
Mchunu (18-4) is a far different proposition. With three defeats in his past five bouts, he is fast running out of options. He was ordinary in losing to Constantin Bejenaru a fortnight ago and it’s difficult seeing a way back for the awkward southpaw. He, too, is a formidable fighter – when the mood takes him.
“I’m not waiting for my phone to ring,” admitted Berman, “but if they have any sort of ambition, they’ll be in touch. It’s a great local fight and we can do business with the winner.”
Meanwhile, Berman also confirmed that despite flirting with the idea of shifting the Super Four featherweight final to the Eastern Cape, it will take place at Emperors with Azinga Fuzile against Lerato Dlamini, also on March 3.
Fuzile, the SA champion, will start favourite on account of his destruction of Tshifhiwa Munyai, but Dlamini won’t be easily beaten after his surgical points win against Simphiwe Vetyeka in the first round of the exciting tournament.
The other headliner confirmed by Berman will see IBO cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena make his first title defence against Dmytro Kucher of Russia.