By Robert Coster
“A gold mine on legs,” is what Jeff Ellis called him. “A box office magnet,” said by Rodney Berman. “A great young prospect with a killer left hook,” from Brian Mitchell. These are some of the praises being showered on South Africa’s hottest boxing prospect of the moment: 21-year-old crowd pleaser Tommy “Gun” Oosthuizen (11-0, 8 KOs), the IBO youth super middleweight and Pan African champion. The 6’4 southpaw is being hailed by the pundits and movers and shakers of South African boxing as a young man on his way to fistic stardom.
Tommy’s assets are: an unerring right jab, finely tuned uppercuts, a lethal left hook and his good looks. “He has this great power and the boxing skills to match,” says his promoter Rodney Berman. In 2009, Oosthuizen won the IBO youth title at 175 lbs with a decision over fellow prospect Jared Lovett (then 6-0), a belt to which he has added the IBO youth title at 168 lbs and the Pan African crown.
In his last fight, the young South African delighted his legion of fans with an impressive stoppage over former contender Saul Roman in eight rounds. “We were taking a big chance having Tommy, a kid with only 10 fights, go against a veteran like Roman who had close to 40 fights and beaten the likes of Kassim Ouma and Yori Boy Campas, but he was just dominant from the 1st round,” says Berman.
Next November 6th, Oosthuizen will be facing another challenge and admitedly his toughest to date against countryman Isaac Chilemba (15-1), the reigning IBO 168 lbs champion, also promoted by Berman. The stylish Chilemba won the IBO title with an upset victory over touted, undefeated Australian prospect Michael Bolling.
“Both Tommy and Isaac are talented young boxers and it’s really an intriguing battle. Tommy is the harder puncher and Chilemba is the sleek boxer. It’s a dream matchup for South African boxing fans and the camps are divided as to who will prevail,” says Berman.
For his part, Oosthuizen’s trainer, Harold Volbrecht, has no doubt as to the outcome of the bout predicting a convincing victory and calling Tommy Oosthuizen, “Simply the best boxer I have ever trained, and that includes a bunch of world champions.”