Flushed with the success of Tommy Oosthuizen’s American television debut, Rodney Berman is ploughing ahead with serving up a feast for SA boxing connoisseurs.
In signing the Charles Oosthuizen-Ryno Liebenberg fight for Emperors Palace on May 28, Berman revealed that attempts to secure Oosthuizen a fight with Balemo Weliya for the SA super-middleweight title had been stymied by the champion’s promoter.
“Despite being ranked number four, Charles was deprived of the opportunity,” said a disappointed Berman, who worked furiously, if unsuccessfully, to nail down a SA title opportunity.
“The fight against Ryno is effectively an eliminator. Weliya’s people won’t be able to run forever.”
The eight-rounder at the Theatre of Marcellus promises to be a cracking affair between two of the most rugged protagonists in local boxing. Both unbeaten, each man will be fighting for local bragging rights.
Added to this is the potentially thrilling Jason Bedeman-Thompson Mokwena encounter and the likes of Adam De Moor, Zan Jonker and Gideon Buthelezi also on the bill.
“Get your tickets early!” warned Berman.
The action continues mid-June with the inaugural Nashua Super Eight tournament, an event that has already experienced its fair share of twists and turns, followed a month later with Oosthuizen’s next bout in the US. Stablemate Bongo Lipemba will feature on the undercard.
Then, in August, Sipho Taliwe challenges for the IBO title in Perth, to be followed by the semifinals of the “Last Man Standing” Super Eight event in September, which includes the WBC strawweight silver belt featuring Hekkie Budler and redoubtable Florante Condes.
If this wasn’t enough, the Golden Gloves year will conclude with a flourish with the final of the Super Eight (and a third-fourth boxoff), plus Oosthuizen in defence of his IBO super-middleweight title.
It all adds up to a superb calendar for SA boxing fans with the country’s very best fighters to be showcased on a monthly basis.