Barely a handful of days into the new year, Tommy Oosthuizen’s career potentially lies in tatters. The IBO super-middleweight champion has been pulled off a major international bill in Canada on January 18 and has also been shown the door by Golden Gloves. In a dramatic start to 2014, a furious Rodney Berman confirmed that he had “washed his hands” of the rebellious fighter in the wake of an apparent bicycle crash that had left him injured. Worse still, Berman received word that Oosthuizen was six kilograms above the light-heavyweight limit and hadn’t a hope of being fit to face unbeaten Eleider Alvarez on an HBO bill in less than a fortnight.
Berman blew his gasket, saying that he wasn’t prepared to tolerate Oosthuizen’s habitual nonsense. Oosthuizen’s indiscipline had been a mounting concern for Golden Gloves, not least when he ran into weight troubles in 2013 and there were reports of bad behaviour. Berman read the fighter the riot act, but it appears not to have worked with Oosthuizen again in terrible shape ahead of a key international fight.
Last year he came close to blowing things with a sub-par showing against Brandon Gonzales that left HBO, among others, unimpressed. The boxer followed that up by ballooning ahead of his fight against Ezequiel Maderna, which came close to being scrapped. The show in Canada was his chance to get back into the big time and confirm his talent on a major international tournament.
“He’s done!” said an incandescent Berman. “He’s had so many chances and blown every one. Golden Gloves is the promoter of champions, of men of credibility, good standing and dignity. Tommy has let us all down. Fighters are meant to be role models, but he’s fallen very short.”
Trainer Harold Volbrecht, who tried in vain to keep Oosthuizen on a short leash, is said to be distraught at developments. Berman admitted that he had been embarrassed by the shambles, not least because of his ties with the World Boxing Council and the Canadian promoters, who now have to scramble to sign another opponent.