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Boxing | South Africa

Thabiso Mchunu and Tommy Oosthuizen © Gallo Images

Rematch at Emperors Palace

Tommy Oosthuizen from Boksburg defends his African Boxing Union cruiserweight title in a return match against Thabiso Mchunu of Cato Ridge in KwaZulu-Natal, who puts his South African cruiserweight title on line, at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park, on Saturday night in a bout billed as “Repeat or Revenge".

The tournament will be shown live on SS8 from 7:30pm to 11:30pm.

In their first encounter the southpaw, Oosthuizen, 28-1-2; 16, won on a disputed majority 12 round points decision with scores of 115-113 twice and 114-114.

The 30-year Oosthuizen, having his first fight at cruiserweight after being out of action for 15 months due to reported drug problems and spending time in prison, surprised the critics with his conditioning to outlast Mchunu, 30, over 12 rounds and snatch the decision.

Mchunu, 19-5; 12, went into the first fight as the overwhelming favourite due to Oosthuizen’s inactivity and problems outside the ring. However, this time the fans and pundits have mixed feelings on the outcome.

In this all-southpaw clash Oosthuizen has massive height (193cm) and reach (198cm) advantages over Mchunu (height: 180cm and reach: 184cm) and the odds are that, provided he comes into the ring in good condition, Oosthuizen could once again emerge as the winner over 12 rounds in a closely fought contest.

The winner of this fight must challenge IBO cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena, who is ranked at No. 5 by the WBC in what would be a sell-out.

Oosthuizen is listed at No. 17 and Mchunu at No. 29 in the latest WBC cruiserweight rankings.


South Africa’s unbeaten IBO welterweight champion Thulane Mbenge, 14-0; 11, makes the first defence of his belt against the vastly experienced former IBF lightweight champion, 31-year-old Miguel Vasquez, 40-6; 15, from Mexico.

However, Vasquez, who is rated at No. 32 in the latest IBO welterweight ratings, has not impressed in his last two fights, losing on a ninth round knockout against Josh Taylor (10-0) and a ten round points win over the shop-warn Cosme Rivera (42-24-3).

The 27-year-old Mbenge must be favoured to win on points over 12 rounds against the light punching Vasquez, who has a knockout ratio of 33 per cent.


South African middleweight champion Wade Groth, 7-0; 5, makes the first defence of his title when he faces the veteran Walter Dlamini, 15-6-4; 7.

Heavyweight Keaton Gomes hopes to make it four wins inside the distance when he meets Warren Le Roux, 2-4-1; in a scheduled six rounder.

Also on the bill is a six round junior-middleweight clash between Wynand Mulder, 4-6-1; 4, and Boyd Allen, 1-0; 1.

In the opening bout of the evening at junior-bantamweight Teboho Makwala and Ricado Malijica meet over four rounds.

It has been reported that Box Nation, the boxing subscription service in the United Kingdom and Ireland, will broadcast the double-header live from Emperors Palace.

The tournament is presented by Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.


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