'I'm the toughest f***ing guy around here'‚ says comeback kid Oosthuizen

Boxers Thomas Oosthuizen and Kevin Lerena during the Emperors Palace, Supersport and GOLDEN Gloves announcement of the Supersport/Emperors Palace Three Tournament Festival of Boxing at Lucretia Room, Emperors Palace at June 11, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Boxers Thomas Oosthuizen and Kevin Lerena during the Emperors Palace, Supersport and GOLDEN Gloves announcement of the Supersport/Emperors Palace Three Tournament Festival of Boxing at Lucretia Room, Emperors Palace at June 11, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Local boxing’s bad boy Thomas Oosthuizen‚ sporting a fresh scar above his right eye‚ trumpeted his return to Rodney Berman’s stable at Emperors Palace on Monday by proclaiming to be “the toughest f…ing guy around here”.

“Tommy Gun”‚ who has spent time in prison in the past several months‚ will fight on the third of three tournaments the veteran promoter announced on Monday‚ scheduled for September 1.

The former super-middleweight and light-heavyweight will step up to cruiserweight to top the third card when he fights over 12 rounds at Emperors Palace.

His opponent will be decided in the first tournament on June 23‚ when Thabiso Mchunu takes on Richards Bolotniks of Ukraine in the main supporting bout.

Thulani Mbenge‚ South Africa’s only boxing medallist from the past three editions of the Commonwealth Games‚ heads that show as he bids to win the vacant IBO welterweight title against Diego Gabriel Chaves of Argentina.

Super-middleweight prospect Rowan Campbell‚ who takes on Malkhaz Sujashvili of Georgia next Saturday‚ is pencilled in as the main attraction in Berman’s second tournament on August 10‚ facing Renson Hobyani for the SA title.

Oosthuizen‚ who had been previously discarded by Berman for his errant ways‚ including substance abuse‚ didn’t try to hide his recent spells in jail for drug possession and assault.

“I was incarcerated‚ I’ve been in prison‚” said Oosthuizen.

“I made some mistakes in my life and I’m here to rectify those mistakes — I’m here to make myself a boxing legend‚ not just in South Africa. Internationally.

“After Thabiso‚ I’m taking Kevin’s belt‚” he added‚ referring to Mchunu’s stablemate Kevin Lerena‚ the IBO cruiserweight champion.

“I’m the toughest f…ing guy around here.”

Oosthuizen hasn’t been in the ring since May last year‚ but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t used his fists.

“I have been in prison‚ how can you say I haven’t fought?” he said‚ explaining he’d had nine fights in three months.

The vertical cut that splits his right eyebrow‚ however‚ came while getting ready for church the Sunday before last‚ he said.

He was rushing outside to fetch his black socks — “you can’t wear white socks to church” — and in a rush he tripped over the dog and hit his head on a security gate.

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