Tommy Oosthuizen would be nowhere without second or third chances, which is why news of his career hitting a dead-end appears to be premature.
While promoter Rodney Berman rightly lashed him for his disrespect and indiscipline, he stopped well short of tearing up his contract in the wake of his shambolic behaviour around the recent Robert Berridge fight.
Oosthuizen came in overweight and then proceeded to put the crowd to sleep with a dull performance.
“The real tragedy,” said Berman, “is that he has all the ability but none of the discipline.”
Berman knows better than to have Oosthuizen on the carpet – because he never listens anyway – but he is known to have had a serious talk with trainer Harold Volbrecht who himself is at his wits’ end over Oosthuizen’s bad attitude.
The point is that even with all his shenanigans, Oosthuizen offers great value in the light-heavyweight division. Regular WBA champion Juergen Braehmer has called him out and there is real interest from WBC kingpin Adonis Stevenson.
“He’s still in the realm of major fights,” said Berman, revealing that, despite everything, he does indeed have a major championship fight pencilled in for Oosthuizen in a few months.
Critically, Berman is insisting on a clause in the fight contract that Oosthuizen forfeit his entire purse if he comes in over the limit. It’s an almost unprecedented move in boxing, but Oosthuizen is a boxer who requires unprecedented action.
“I’m sticking with him because he remains a great talent. When he’s in the mood, he’s unbeatable. And that’s what we must all hope for, despite the baggage,” said Berman, clearly praying the enfant terrible of SA boxing finally sees the light.