Almost predictably, Tommy Oosthuizen’s ambition to return to the ring has been put on ice.
The troubled former IBO champion is in jail on a drugs charge and is due to appear in court on March 19. One bail application has already been unsuccessful.
Consequently, promoter Rodney Berman has scrapped plans to match him with Thabiso Mchunu at Emperors Palace in June.
“It’s just too risky,” said Berman, who has been burned by the fighter previously. “There was a good purse on offer, but with his lifestyle and this latest nonsense, we just can’t take the chance.”
The episode puts the kaibosh on what was shaping to be a fascinating fight between two elite southpaws. Mchunu was keen to match his talents against the fast-handed former champion and Oosthuizen, by all accounts, needed the money after losing his way in recent years.
It’s best to never say never in boxing, but it’s difficult to see a way back for Oosthuizen after this. Golden Gloves has shut the door on him before, and here again, but you sense that the lock is now firmly bolted.
“Tommy clearly has a life to sort out,” said Berman, “and my wish is that he does so.”
There might be opportunities with other promoters, but it’s a long shot against him again reaching the heights when he was a top 10 contender and looking to be a major player.