By Marcus Richardson: Undefeated IBO super middleweight champion Thomas Oosthuizen (20-0-1, 13 KO’s) will be staying busy with what should be an easy title defense next month against Colombian Fulgencio Zuniga (25-5-1, 22 KO’s) on November 10th at the Emperor’s Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa.
Oosthuizen, #3 IBF, #6 WBC, wants to get a title shot against one of the world champions. However, the 6’4″ Oosthuizen probably isn’t even close to being ready to beat the champions Andre Ward and Carl Froch. Oosthuizen is a good fighter, as we’ve seen in his victories over Marcus Johnson, Aaron Pryor Jr, Francisco Sierra and Serge Yannick, but he doesn’t have great defensive skills.
Oosthuizen’s power also isn’t that huge and that would be something that Oosthuizen would absolutely need in order for him to beat the likes of Ward and Froch. Without great speed and power, Oosthuizen would take a beating against those guys. One big advantage that Oosthuizen is his age. He’s only 24, and he can stick around long enough until Froch retires and Ward moves up in weight to light heavyweight.
Zuniga, 35, is now fighting in the light heavyweight division after previously fighting at middleweight and super middleweight. He’s become someone that champions can count on to give them a good fight but not good enough to really worry. Zuniga has previously lost to Kelly Pavlik, Denis Inkin, Lucian Bute and Tavoris Cloud. The Inkin, Bute and Cloud fights were all for titles.
It’s hard to imagine why Zuniga is now fighting at light heavyweight because he doesn’t have a big frame and was already small for the super middleweight division. In moving up to light heavyweight, Zuniga is going to have problems. Zuniga won his last fight against 36-year-old Alejandro Berrio, but in his fight before that Zuniga was beaten by IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud in a one-sided fight in December of 2010.
Oosthuizen should be able to box his way to a decision over Zuniga. I doubt he can KO Zuniga, because he’s got a pretty good chin. It’s been three years since Zuniga was stopped and that was from Bute throwing body shots. Oosthuizen isn’t a big body puncher, so I don’t expect for him to be able to get Zuniga out of there.