Johannesburg – IBO super middleweight champion Tommy Oosthuizen will come up against another unbeaten boxer Brandon Gonzales at the Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut on Saturday night.
The South African's fight will feature on the undercard of the charismatic Gennady Golovkin's defence of his WBA middleweight title against Matthew Macklin and will be televised internationally.
Despite American-Mexican Gonzales's record of 17 wins and no defeats, it was uncertain whether the fight in the United States would do anything to enhance the 25 year-old Oosthuizen's proclaimed ambition to earn a shot at the title of one of the four top recognised boxing associations -namely the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO.
Notwithstanding the 28 year-old Gonzales's unbeaten credentials, less impressive is his 37th place on the IBO's computer rankings and the fact he has not beaten any boxer rated higher than 50th in his professional career.
More significantly, the former amateur Golden Gloves champion has never been involved in a fight of more than eight rounds during his six-year professional career - earning him the dubious description of the “Preliminary Man Champion.”
This may be the reason why the IBO title will not be at stake on Saturday night, although it could also be because Oosthuizen is currently over the 168lb super middleweight limit.
However, Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman, under whose aegis Oosthuizen has made the majority of his ring appearances in a career of 21 wins, one draw and no defeats, sees a victory over Gonzales elevating the boxer known as “Tommy Gun” further up the IBF ratings from his current fifth challenging position for Carl Froch's title.
“Being on a high-profiled bill with vast exposure via TV presents Oosthuizen with the ideal opportunity to show his undoubted quality to an international audience,” says Berman.
The time seems overdue for Oosthuizen to meet more highly recognised opponents in order to earn a title shot at Froch, WBC and WBA supremo Andre Ward or WBO champion Robert Stieglitz.
The super middleweight division is brimming with talent and queuing up alongside Oosthuizen for a shot at one of the major titles are boxers of the calibre of Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Andre Dirrell and the unbeaten George Groves.