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Oosthuizen-Grachev, Balaev-Funeka on November 15

Tommy Oosthuizen will fight a Russian, Denis Grachev, at Emperors Palace on November 15.

Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman announced the bout in Johannesburg on Thursday, saying: "I'm confident we'll see Oosthuizen back in action next month.”

On the undercard of the tournament at the venue near Kempton Park in Gauteng, unbeaten Kevin Lerena will face veteran Johnny Muller in a cruiserweight bout.

Another local favourite, Ali Funeka, will fight unbeaten Russian Roman Balaev for the IBO welterweight title.

Oosthuizen, who was once regarded as the golden Boy of SA boxing, has been ranked sixth best super-middleweight in the world and won the IBO title, but has not fought in almost a year.

Personal problems and alleged indiscretions resulted in a succession of proposed bouts being called off during this period. Berman at one stage said he was "washing his hands" off Oosthuizen.

"We've bent over backwards to accommodate Tommy because of his weight issues and other problems out of the ring,” he said at the time.

Oosthuizen relinquished his IBO title and said he would compete in the light-heavyweight division, even though Ring magazine continued to rate him at No 8 in the super-middleweight division.

Berman said they had received “positive assurances” from Oosthuizen's trainer, Harold Volbrecht, that the boxer was fit, eager to box again and “determined to prove the doubters wrong”.

The promoter added: "Of course, after his lengthy break we'll only know on the night which Tommy will be fighting."

Berman was quick to warn "Tommy Gun" not to expect an easy fight against Grachev, who recently impressed against Ryno Liebenberg.

After 11 successive victories, Lerena is ready to fight opponents of international standard. But Muller will have to show his recent defeat to Doudou Ngumbu in Monte Carlo is no sign that his career is coming to an end.

Balaev is 37th on the IBO’s welterweight rankings list and Funeka 18th in the junior welterweight division.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Hougigo on 10-10-2014

1. Big if if Tommy fights next month, dude has pulled out so many times. 2. what happened to Thomas Meuller fighting for the IBO title?

Comment by Mick Higgs on 10-10-2014

What gives with these guys? A boxers career is short, so grab it while you can. Mark Heffron's another one who's become lacklaster!

Comment by PittyPat on 10-10-2014

Good to hear Funeka is still fighting. He got jobbed both times against that scumbag Guzman, and Campbell.

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