Tommy now gunning for Berridge

ADAPTING: Thomas Oosthuizen
ADAPTING: Thomas Oosthuizen

Dangerous New Zealander Robert "The Butcher" Berridge will challenge IBO light-heavyweight champion Thomas "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen at Emperors Palace on June 6, after the withdrawal of Robert Bolonti.

Rodney Berman, whose Golden Gloves Promotions will stage the fight, said Argentina's Bolonti opted instead for a touted rematch against Canadian Jean Pascal.

Berman explained that Oosthuizen, who has a perfect fight record after 26 bouts, cannot be kept in cotton wool because he is on the verge of being involved in super bouts.

The veteran promoter has been in serious negotiations with the successful American boxing adviser-manager Al Haymon, who manages more than 60 top-name fighters, including WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson from Canada.

"Of course, none of this will happen if Oosthuizen doesn't do the business against Robert Berridge next weekend.

"He needs to win impressively, although perhaps not too impressively, if he is to earn the nod of Stevenson," warned Berman yesterday, adding that Bolonti did Golden Gloves a big favour by pulling out of his fight against Oosthuizen.

That was after Berman had learned that Bolonti had controversially quit against Pascal in their fight in December. He said that fight had left a bad taste in the mouths of Canadian boxing fans, with many saying he appeared to take a dive.

Berman is relieved that Oosthuizen will face a formidable opponent in Berridge. The 30-year-old, a left-hander like Oosthuizen, is rated No 30 by the IBO. He has 21 knockouts in 26 wins, against two losses and a draw.


Oosthuizen's stablemate at the Hammer Gym of trainer Harold Volbrecht, Johnny "The Hurricane" Muller, will be up against the experienced Mateusz Masternak from Poland in a 10-rounder in the cruiserweight class.

Meanwhile, Berman will donate R20000 to 73-year-old boxing great Elijah "Tap Tap" Makhathini at the tournament.