Oosthuizen’s fight with Ajisafe hits problems

Tommy Oosthuizen during the Stand and Deliver Boxing tournament held at Emperors Palace, 14 March 2015. Four title fights were held during the event with the main fight for the vacant IBO Lightweight title being won by Tommy Oosthuizen over Ryno Liebenberg by a split decision. Picture Neil McCartney

Scale problems again crop up – this time they’re not Tommy’s though.

You could have been forgiven for thinking that Tommy ‘Tommy Gun’ Oosthuizen’s year could not get any worse… well, it just has.

In a late afternoon phone call to Rodney Berman on Monday, UK promoter Mick Hennessy said that Bob Ajisafe was unable to make the light-heavyweight limit for the proposed December 5 Commonwealth title fight against Oosthuizen in London.

Berman quickly proposed a non-title fight at catchweight, typically negotiated between boxing camps when one boxer can’t make a stipulated weight limit, but Hennessy said not even this was possible. This suggests that Ajisafe isn’t in top physical condition and probably close to heavyweight.

Berman couldn’t hide his disappointment, particularly as it came a few weeks after WBA champion Juergen Braehmer’s postponement of a November 7 defence against the South African.

The fight still remains a possibility, according to Berman, but it’s not likely to improve Oosthuizen’s mood. The soonest it might happen is January, which would leave Oosthuizen in limbo for eight months.

By his standards, Oosthuizen had an ordinary year. He won a split decision over Ryno Liebenberg in March and then sleep-walked his way through New Zealand’s Robert Berridge a few months later. Having weighed in over the limit, he surrendered his IBO belt on the scales.

Despite being unbeaten in 27 fights, he has struggled for mainstream recognition with just the WBA rating him (nine).

He desperately needs his luck to turn because, at his best, he can match anyone. But the window of opportunity is closing fast on the 27-year-old.





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