Oosthuizen, Funeka Gear Up For Kempton Park Bouts

SuperSport will broadcast live coverage of Tommy Oosthuizen’s return to the ring on Saturday night.

Oosthuizen, who was regarded as the golden boy of SA boxing not so long ago, takes on Denis Grachev, a Russian, in a light-heavyweight bout at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park.

The Golden Gloves Promotions tournament will be televised live on SuperSport 7 from 7.30 pm (SA, CAT, GMT+2).

The 26-year-old Oosthuizen has not fought since November 9 last year, when he beat Ezequiel Oswaldo Maderna by majority decision at the same venue. During his absence, he relinquished his IBO super-middleweight title.

His debut in the light-heavyweight division is unlikely to be a picnic even though Grachev has lost four and drawn one of his 18 professional fights.

In his last three bouts, Grachev lost on points to South African Ryno Liebenberg and Johannesburg-based Malawian Isaac Chilemba and on a first-round stoppage to Edwin Rodriguez.

But the 32-year-old Russian, who now lives in California, showed his potential when he made an end to Zsolt Erdei’s status as undefeated contender last year and he has gone the distance with highly rated Canadian Lucian Bute.

Oosthuizen, nicknamed Tommy Gun, was confident at a pre-fight media conference on Tuesday, saying he would be back to his best on Saturday night.

"I've been in the gym for three months solid and I look forward to getting back into action," Oosthuizen said. "A good win will put me in line for a shot at the IBO title in February. That's extra incentive to come back in style."

Asked about the problems he had experienced during the past year, he said: "If you're asking me if I'm walking with a Bible under my arm, the answer is no. But I'm doing my job in a fully professional manner.

“I'm also committed and hungry after being out of action for so long. I don't believe in rustiness if you train properly, so I won't use that as an excuse."

Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman was pleased to welcome Oosthuizen back. "We've been assured by [trainer] Harold Volbrecht that Tommy is now fit," Berman said.

On the same card, Ali Funeka takes on another Russian, Roman Belaev, for the vacant IBO welterweight title in what could be the fight of the night.

Belaev is undefeated after 14 professional bouts, including ten wins inside the distance.

Funeka is a veteran of 42 fights – 35 wins, including 29 knockouts, and four defeats – and is a former IBF lightweight and WBF light-welterweight champion.

He has won his four most recent fights inside the distance, seeing off Boitshepo Mandawe and Mzolisi Yoyo earlier this year and Jason Bedeman and Vusi Dladla last year. His last defeat was against Zolani Marali in December 2012.

Unbeaten Kevin Lerena faces Johnny Muller in a cruiserweight bout.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by dan_cov on 11-12-2014

Almost sad how much stock they put into Oosthuizen, he'll no doubt have his hands full with Grachev despite him on a 4-5 fight losing streak.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Epic Sports CEO on Securing Whyte-Pulev, Signing Fighters, More Inoue Confirms He’ll Compete in WBSS Bantamweight Tournament Brendan Ingle, Dean Francis Pass Away: Boxing World Mourns Tony Bellew "100%" Interested In Fighting Oleksandr Usyk Inoue Blows Out McDonnell in 1st Round to Win Bantamweight Title Trout: I'm Going To Derail Charlo-Hurd, Get Rematch With Hurd! Shiro Knocks Out Lopez With Body Shot in 2nd Round of Rematch Warren: Tyson Fury Will Avoid Comeback Mistakes of Haye Kal Yafai is Keen To Make a Statement in American Debut Frank Bruno Backing Dan Azeez To Go Far in Boxing Haye: Joe Joyce Would Take Jarrell Miller and Dillian Whyte Apart Demecillo Knocks Out Moya, Wenceslao Destroys Tinampay Wilder: Trump is Huge Boxing Fan, Wants a KO in My Next Fight Warrington: I Was Doubted at Every Level, Now I'm Champion Regis Prograis: I Knew Jose Ramirez Wasn't Going to Fight Me Buboy Denies Chatter That Pacquiao is Burning Out in Camp Omar Chavez Targets Hector Camacho Jr. For August Clash De La Hoya: Golovkin is Afraid of Canelo - We're Moving On! Photos: Ancajas vs. Sultan, Yafai vs. Carmona - Final Presser Joseph Diaz Will Return Even Stronger, Says Manager Denis Shafikov vs. Hector Suarez Tops Hollywood Fight Nights Roman Gonzalez Eyes United States Return in September Whyte-Pulev: Surprise Bidder Beats Hearn, Sauerland For Rights Photos: Wilder, Sulaiman, Lewis, Stallone Hit The White House Jeff Horn Involved in Car Accident, No Injuries Suffered Donald Trump Issues Rare Posthumous Pardon To Jack Johnson Jermall Charlo: Me & My Brother Open to Hearing Hearn's Offers UK News: Phil Sutcliffe, Sean McComb Debut, More Christina Hammer Talks Training Camp For Showtime Defense Hearn Confirms July Return for Brook; Date, Opponent & Site TBA Photos: Naoya Inoue, Jamie McDonnell - Ready For War in Japan Robert Easter Adds Cunningham To His Team For Garcia Bout Jose Ramirez's Adviser Explains Why Freddie Roach Was Replaced Arum Ready To Make Deal: Stevenson Must Fight Gvozdyk Next McDonnell: When I Beat Inoue, Everyone in World Will Know Me Hekkie Budler's Trainer Breaks Down The Big Upset in Japan Everton Lopes, Two-Time Olympian, Decides To Retire Is David Haye About To Retire From Boxing? Horn's Trainer: We Can't Afford To Let Crawford Land Big Shots Luis Ortiz Coach Expects Wilder Rematch, Feels Joshua Will Delay

Latest Active Forum Threads