By Jake Donovan
Whatever aspirations Thomas Oosthuizen had in mind for 2014 are quickly a peril less than a week into the New Year.
The unbeaten super middleweight contender has reportedly been pulled from his scheduled January 18 showdown with Eleider Alvarez, and also dropped by Rodney Berman's Golden Gloves Promotions, his local promoter in South Africa.
The bout with Alvarez was slated to air on HBO as the televised chief support of a tripleheader live from Montreal, Canada. Jean Pascal faces Lucian Bute in the main event, while unbeaten heavyweight contender Mike Perez faces Carlos Takam in the televised opener. Both bouts remain intact.
According to Golden Gloves' promotional website , Berman grew fed up after learning of "an apparent (motorcycle) crash that had left him injured." The website also alleges that Oosthuizen was more than a dozen pounds over the contracted light heavyweight limit with less than two weeks to go before the fight.
" He’s done," Berman said of the fighter, whom reportedly has struggled outside the ropes in recent years, with the latest reported incident serving as the last straw. “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.”
There is no official word yet on whether a new opponent will be sought for Alvarez (13-0, 8KO), if he will remain part of the telecast or even on the card. The news came secondhand to GYM Promotions, Alvarez' promoter, as the Canadian powerhouse outfit is still trying to figure out exactly what has taken place.
"I got (the news) this morning by Twitter," explained Yvon Michel, who heads GYM Promotions and is still in the process of communicating with Oosthuizen's camp and now former promoter. "Oosthuizen's team was scheduled to arrive tomorrow."
( UPDATE: A medical report was submitted to the event's handlers early Monday morning (Canada time), confirming that Oosthuizen was examined by a doctor in South Africa on Monday and deemed unfit to participate in the January 18 bout)
Alvarez, born in Colombia but now based out of Canada, is coming off of a 10-round decision of former middleweight contender Edison Miranda last September. The showdown with Oosthuizen, in addition to being a sanctioned light heavyweight eliminator, would have been his first appearance on HBO.
Oosthuizen (22-0-2, 13KO) made his lone HBO appearance last June, fighting to an uninspiring 10-round draw with fellow unbeaten Brandon Gonzales.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox