Stevenson lines up June defense, Oosthuizen in September

Golden Gloves 21/05/2015

Amanda Kwok

Breaking news out of the Golden Gloves camp is that negotiations have begun for Tommy Oosthuizen to challenge WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson in September.

Promoter Rodney Berman has been thrashing out a deal with Canadian counterpart Yvon Michel, who is keen on the match-up.

There has been pressure on Stevenson to seek a unification fight with Sergey Kovalev, but this possibility looks remote given Stevenson’s links to Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions and Kovalev’s contract with HBO.

“I’m very optimistic we can get this done,” said Berman. “I would love to do it in Monte Carlo, but it can’t happen there, so I expect Tommy will have to travel to Canada.”

Stevenson shot to fame with his dramatic one-round blowout of Chad Dawson two years ago. He has since beaten the likes of Tavoris Cloud and Andrzej Fonfara to establish himself among the two best light-heavyweights in the world.

Southpaw Oosthuizen would dispute this, pointing to his unbeaten record as proof of his pedigree, but until he gets into the ring with Stevenson we will never know.

This potential super fight ultimately hinges on both fighters winning their next outings. Michel is busy trying to arrange a fight for “Superman” for next month, while Oosthuizen must defend his IBO crown against Robert Berridge. Any slip-up for either fighter would be a disaster.

Although the September date stands out like a beacon from a SA boxing perspective, it is one of only a number of major events Golden Gloves has planned. It begins with next month’s “D-Day at the Palace” tournament, to be followed by a co-promotion with Jeff Ellis on July 30. The likely headliner is a potential barnburner: Kevin Lerena against Deon Coetzee for the SA cruiserweight championship.

This is to be followed with a return to Monte Carlo in November. As ever, Berman will keep a spot open for a deserving SA boxer. Planning is in the early stages, but the card will be topped by a world championship and a first-rate undercard.