Over­weight Tommy Gun stripped of his ti­tle

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Thomas Oosthuizen’s camp is dev­as­tated that the fighter lost his In­ter­na­tional Boxing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IBO) light heavy­weight ti­tle with­out even de­fend­ing it.

This af­ter the man nick­named “Tommy Gun” failed to make the re­quired 79.38kg limit at the of­fi­cial weigh-in on Fri­day.

This came on the eve of his ti­tle de­fence fight against New Zealand’s Robert “The Butcher” Ber­ridge at Em­per­ors Palace on the East Rand last night.

Benoni-based Oosthuizen (26) tipped the scales at 80.6kg – 1.22kg over the limit – while his op­po­nent was well within the mark, and was de­clared fit and ready.

The weight snag led to Oosthuizen be­ing stripped of his crown – al­most three months af­ter he had won it.

Last night’s bout, in which he was to fea­ture as the main fight on the Ch­esa Nyama bill, was in­stead re­duced to the un­der­card.

The main fea­ture was the World Boxing As­so­ci­a­tion Pan-African light­weight cham­pi­onship be­tween Xolisani Ndon­geni and Mzonke Fana.

Oosthuizen’s trainer, Harold Vol­brecht, was at pains to ex­plain his frus­tra­tion at what had hap­pened.

“This is frus­trat­ing be­cause we did not ex­pect it to oc­cur. My guy weighed in at 84kg a few days ago and we man­aged to bring his weight down,” said Vol­brecht.

“But on Fri­day, the fi­nal day, we were sur­prised to see him at the weigh-in fail­ing to shed the ex­tra ki­los to make the limit. I guess this is life.”

Vol­brecht said they would go back to the drawing board this week and plan ahead for the fu­ture.

Boxing rules stip­u­late that a cham­pion gets stripped of his cham­pi­onship belt if he fails to make the re­quired weight limit.

He also for­feits 30% of his purse money, which is also what has hap­pened to Oosthuizen.

Pro­moter Rod­ney Ber­man said on his web­site: “Tommy has let ev­ery­one down. It’s very dis­ap­point­ing.

“What I fail to un­der­stand is that no­body had the de­cency to come and tell us there was an is­sue. We had to find out when Tommy was on the scales.”

Oosthuizen won the ti­tle af­ter beat­ing Ryno Lieben­berg in a split de­ci­sion at Em­per­ors Palace in March.

PHOTO: LEE WAR­REN / GALLO IMAGES

OUT Thomas Oosthuizen lost his fight at the scales

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