By Ron Jackson
IBO super middleweight champion Thomas Oosthuizen faces a tough one when he meets American Marcus Johnson in a 10-round non-title bout at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami Oklahoma on Friday night. The southpaw Oosthuizen (18-0-1, 13 KOs) will be having his second fight in the US. In September last year in Biloxi the 24-year-old South African outpointed Aaron Pryor Jr by wide margins, despite fighting under the handicap of a badly cut and swollen right eye.
After this success he made successful defences of the IBO super middleweight belt against Francisco Sierra (tko 11) and Serge Yannick (tko 6).
Oosthuizen who is trained by former South African welterweight champion Harold Volbrect is currently ranked at number ten by the WBC and number seven by the IBF.
The 26-year-old Johnson (21-1, 15 KOs) from Houston, Texas who will be having his first fight this year has few recognisable names on his record and in his two fights in 2011 he lost a ten round decision to Dyah
Davis (18-2-1) and outpointed Billy Bailey (11-12) over six rounds.
However, in 2010 he beat Derek Edwards (25-0) on points over tern round to win the vacant WBO NABO super middleweight title and then stopped Kevin Engel (18-3) in the third round.
Johnson who is not ranked by any of the major organisations was an outstanding amateur and has won two decisions over 2004 bronze medallist at the 2004 Olympics Andre Dirrell who is now a top ranked professional super middleweight.
Johnson has power in his right hand but the taller Oosthuizen (1.93m) should have enough to pound out a hard-earned points decision over the smooth skills of Johnson (1.78m).
On the same card Luis Orlando Del Valle 15-0; 11 from Puerto Rico meets Christopher Martin 23-1-3; 6 from Chula Vista, California in ten round super bantamweight bout.
Del Valle, 25, who is a left-hander but fights from the orthodox stance has won eight of his last ten fights inside the distance and is ranked at number eight by the WBO and at number three by the WBA.
Martin who is also 25-years-old is ranked at #8 by the IBF, suffered his only loss in August 2010 when he was beaten on a split decision by Chris Avalos.
In an eight round super featherweight bout WBC Youth champion Jose Pedraza 7-0; 6 who represented Puerto Rico at the 2008 Olympics clashes with Gil Garcia 5-2-1; 1.