South Africa’s Tommy “Tommy Gun” Oosthuizen faces his toughest test at Salle des Etoiles, Sporting Monte Carlo on November 7, challenging Germany’s Jürgen Braehmer for the latter’s WBA light-heavyweight title.
The fight will top the “Night of Champions” tournament card in Monaco which features boxers from around the world – China, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Russia, Japan, France, South Africa, Germany and the United Kingdom – being represented
South Africa’s boxing powerhouse Golden Gloves will promote the event.
Braehmer (47-2, 35 KOs) is fresh off a weekend victory over Konni Konrad, his fifth successful defence since claiming the title against Marcus Oliveira in 2013.
A former WBO champion, Braehmer is unbeaten in seven years, having beaten a host of top contenders put before him.
Braehmer (like Oosthuizen, a southpaw) has only fought once outside Germany and will be leaving his safe confines to face one of the division’s toughest, and undoubtedly most talented, contenders.
Oosthuizen (25-0-2, 14 KOs), possessing great skills, is an unbeaten fighter having held both IBO super-middleweight and light-heavyweight titles. He now has the opportunity of finally establishing himself as a leading light in the light-heavyweight division.
“I’m thrilled, this is a big opportunity to display my skills and claim the prized WBA title. I’ve been waiting for a long time and this could lead to unification fights and my dream to become the first South African to make a division his own,” he said from his hometown of Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.
“I’ve seen Braehmer. His handspeed is critical; I’m going to have to bring my A-game. He’s similar to me with counter-punching and angles, but my style is adjustable and I can adapt. I’ll have a response to whatever he brings.
“I like fighting overseas. It motivates me more. I want to do South Africa proud. I’ve been training hard already . . . Braehmer is definitely not training as hard. After him, I want to go after the big boys – Sergey Kovalev and the rest. I want to fight them all.”
Braehmer, speaking in the aftermath of a fresh victory, was similarly confident.
“I’m very happy to get the opportunity to come to Monaco and defend my title at such a special venue. This is a chance for me to let the world know that Jürgen Braehmer is ready for any challenge. Oosthuizen is a quality opponent but he has never fought anyone like me. I’m pleased to hear that he is training hard as hopefully we will be able to deliver the fans in Monaco and those watching on television a thrilling encounter on November 7. But no matter how hard he trains, it will not be enough to take my title from me.’’
Kalle Sauerland, promoter of Braehmer, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Rodeney Berman’s Golden Gloves to deliver fans a hotly anticipated world championship fight between Jürgen Braehmer and Tommy Oosthuizen. Jürgen has never shied away from a challenge and when the opportunity came for him to defend his title in Monaco he didn’t have to give it a second thought. This is a chance for him to further his legacy and prove once again why he belongs at the top of the light-heavyweight division.’’
On the undercard brimful of championship fights, Yonfrez Parejo (16-1-1, 7 KOs) of Venezuela, the WBA’s number one-ranked bantamweight, defends his Interim belt against Kazakhstan’s Zhanat Zhakiyanov (25-1, 18 KOs) , who is trained by the famed Ricky Hatton, and is accustomed to fighting on the road, having fought in China, the United Kingdom, Australia, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Thailand. He is rated second by the WBA.
Zhakiyanov was something of an unknown quantity until he scored a stunning one-punch knockout of France’s Karim Guerfi in Sheffield last April, which earned him the European bantamweight title.
The WBA Intercontinental welterweight crown will also be up for grabs when David Avanesyan (a Russian-based Armenian) comes up against Charlie Navarro (Venezuela).
Avanesyan (20-1-1, 10 KOs) earned rave reviews after sparring with Chris Eubank jr, and has more than held his own in sparring sessions against Carl Froch, George Groves and James DeGale. In Navarro, he meets a wily veteran who has more than held his own against the best in the division.
Navarro (25-7, 20 KOs) is a wily veteran who fought Vyacheslav Senchenko for the WBA title in 2010.
UK interest will focus on popular Adam Etches (19-1, 16 KOs) against Japan’s Yosuke Kirima (15-0, 9 KOs) for the PABA Interim middleweight title.
Etches won the IBF Youth super-middleweight title in 2013 and is expected to bring his loyal army of fans to Monaco
Rounding out the tournament is a fight for the WBC Silver super-bantamweight title between French champion Amor Beladhj Ali (14-3-1, 2 KOs) and Qiu Xiao Jun (17-2, 7 KOs) of China.