By Ron Jackson
Tommy Oosthuizen from Boksburg defends his African Boxing Union cruiserweight title in a return match against Thabiso Mchunu of Cato Ridge in KwaZulu-Natal, who puts his South African cruiserweight title on the line, at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park, on Saturday night in a bout billed as “Repeat or Revenge. The tournament will be shown live on SS8 from 19;30 to 23:30.
In their first encounter the southpaw Oosthuizen won on a disputed majority 12 round points decision with scores of 115-113 twice and 114-114.
The 30-year Oosthuizen (28-1, 16 KOs) having his first fight at cruiserweight after being out of for 15 months due to reported drug problems and spending time in prison, surprised the critics with his conditioning to outlast Mchunu, 30, over 12 rounds and snatch the decision.
Mchunu (19-5, 12 KOs) went into the first fight as the overwhelming favorite due to Oosthuizen’s inactivity and problems outside the ring. However, this time the fans and pundits have mixed feelings on the outcome.
In this all-southpaw clash, Oosthuizen has massive height (193cm) and reach (198cm) advantages over Mchunu ( height 180cm and reach 184cm) and the odds are that provided he comes into the ring in good condition Oosthuizen could once again emerge as the winner over 12 rounds in a closely fought fight.
The winner of this fight must challenge IBO cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena who is ranked at No. 5 by the WBC in what would be a sell-out.
Oosthuizen is listed at No. 17 and Mchunu at No. 29 in the latest WBC cruiserweight rankings.
MBENGE MAKES FIRST DEFENCE OF IBO WELTERWEIGHT BELT
South Africa’s unbeaten IBO welterweight champion Thulane Mbenge (14-0, 11 KOs) makes the first defence of his belt against the vastly experienced former IBF lightweight champion 31-year-old Miguel Vasquez (40-6, 15 KOs) from Mexico. However, Vasquez who is rated at No. 32 in the latest IBO welterweight ratings has not impressed in his last two fights, losing on a ninth round knockout against Josh Taylor (10-0) and a ten round points win over the shop-warn Cosme Rivera (42-24-3).
The 27-year-old Mbenge must be favored to win on points over 12 rounds against the light-punching Vasquez who has a knockout ratio of 33 percent.
South African middleweight champion Wade Groth 7-0; 5 makes the first defence of title when he faces the veteran Walter Dlamini 15-6-4; 7.
Heavyweight Keaton Gomes hopes to make it four wins inside the distance when he meets Warren Le Roux 2-4-1; in a scheduled six rounder.
Also on the bill is a six round junior-middleweight clash between Wynand Mulder 4-6-1; 4 and Boyd Allen 1-0; 1.
In the opening bout of the evening at junior-bantamweight Teboho Makwala and Ricado Malijica meet over four rounds.
It has been reported that Box Nation, the boxing subscription service in the United Kingdom and Ireland, will broadcast the double-header live from Emperors Palace.
The tournament is presented by Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.