Tommy Oosthuizen will get his next big opportunity in America after his rousing win over Ryno Liebenberg at the weekend.
Promoter Rodney Berman has already taken a number of calls to this effect and is confident of landing a major international fight for the new IBO light-heavyweight champion.
Berman also had words of encouragement for Liebenberg, assuring the West Rand fighter that he remains a draw and will continue to feature – probably at super-middleweight.
“Tommy showed great improvement from past fights and it was gratifying to see his level of fitness,” said the Golden Gloves boss. “But I wasn’t 100 percent happy. I don’t like his showboating; it isn’t necessary. It will get him more haters than fans. When you’re at the level of Muhammad Ali or Sugar Ray Leonard, then you can showboat. Still, he has great potential if he continues in this vein.”
This presumably includes a lifestyle conducive to a professional sportsman, something Oosthuizen has struggled with in the past. As Berman put it, the big-money fights are out there – but only if Oosthuizen knuckles down and continues to work hard.
Despite Liebenberg slumping to his second consecutive loss, admittedly against two top-10-rated fighters, Berman says he still has plenty of fight in him.
“Ryno is essentially a brawler and Tommy did what he had to do to win. Ryno is one of the most improved fighters I’ve ever had. I thought he had no chance when I first laid eyes on him, but it’s credit to Colin Nathan that he has come so far. He’ll win more than he loses. I have nice plans for him and have discussed the possibility of shifting him down a division. Tommy was so much bigger than him and Ryno has no problem dropping down to super-middle where there are nice fights to be made.”
Berman confirmed that he will be looking to make a third match between Dowayne Combrink and Giovanni Bushby after the terrific 12-rounder they produced on Saturday.