Tommy Oosthuizen will fight Doudou Ngumbu in a light-heavyweight bout in Monte Carlo on June 21.
Oosthuizen intends boosting his career in the heavier division after relinquishing his IBO super-middleweight title. In his first fight at light-heavyweight he takes on an experienced opponent who should provide him with a testing introduction to the new weight class.
Ngumbu, 32, is a former Africa champion. He is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo but is based in France and has a professional record of 31 victories and five losses. In his most recent bout he lost on a split decision to Russia's Igor Mikhalkin.
The WBA has already ranked the SA southpaw fourth on its light-heavyweight list even though he still has to make his debut in the division. He is undefeated in 24 fights, with 22 wins and two draws.
Oosthuizen, who defended his IBO title seven times, feels he needs a few fights before challenging for a light-heavyweight belt.
The 26-year-old now regards himself as a "champion without a belt" but feels it is a matter of time before he will be a champion again.
"I want to do well in this weight class and ultimately win titles as well," Oosthuizen said on Monday. "I'm working hard in the gym every day to be in great shape."
"To the guys in the light-heavyweight division: I'm here to compete. To the champions in this division, such as Bernard Hopkins and Adonis Stevenson, I'm coming after your titles," he said.
Oosthuizen believes relinquishing the IBO title and moving up a division was a smart move and a natural development.
He withdrew from a proposed fight in Canada earlier in the year after being involved in a motorcycle accident. His weight then shot up to where he may have struggled to make even the light-heavyweight limit.
He is back with his former trainer, Harold Volbrecht, who says Oosthuizen has regained his enthusiasm for training and is already in good shape.
Tags: Thomas Oosthuizen