Experts View: Jared vs Oosthuizen
With so much intense interest revolving
around the Jared Lovett versus Tommy
Oosthuizen vacant IBO Youth world light heavyweight title bout on July 11, at
Emperors Palace, we found it expedient to sound out a large number of experts and boxing personalities, to attain their views on who will win South Africa’s most keenly anticipated contest of 2009.
While highly illuminating, some of the
opinions expressed here will undoubtedly
cause a few surprises. Indicative of the close competitiveness of this bout, it’s little wonder that 4 analysts ‘sat on the fence’ so to speak, while 12 selected Lovett and the other 14 chose Oosthuizen.
Ron Jackson: boxing analysts & writer.
“Oosthuizen will win simply because he’s the
harder hitter of the two. Other than that,
there’s not much in it”.
Chris Swanepoel: sports columnist.
“I’m selecting Lovett, because fights aren’t
always won by the boxer who has the
greater degree of talent, but also by the
better conditioned athlete. And in this sphere, Lovett has to be one of the fittest
fighters in South Africa today.”
Bongani Magasela: boxing writer.
“It’s a very hard fight to call, but since I’ve
seen Lovett’s proven durability against Ronnie Lategan and aren’t as yet convinced how well Oosthuizen takes a punch, I’m going with the Storm to prevail in a really torrid encounter. Having said that it could well go the other way”.
Andries Steyn: former SA ring great and
long-serving television analyst.
“I am going along with Oosthuizen, who I
regard as the better boxer and arguably the
harder hitter of the two”.
Stanley Sono: boxing official.
“What a terrific fight! But if I have to pick a
winner it would be Tommy (Oosthuizen) who I believe is tactically the more assured
Bennie Pailman: boxing trainer.
“Oosthuizen will beat Lovett, whether it goes
three rounds or twelve rounds. He is the better boxer of the two and also the harder hitter”.
Willie Lock: veteran trainer. “I can’t see Lovett getting beat. He’s a great young fighter and should have way too much power for Oosthuizen to handle”.
Paul Hetz: former boxing writer.
“Lovett’s lack of caution will result in him
being knocked out inside the first three
Manny Fernandes: trainer.
“I have said all along that I slightly favour
Oosthuizen but since he’s yet to prove
himself at the weight, how can anyone really
be sure. As you know, weight stops trains!
But if Tommy is comfortable as a light heavyweight, I’d pick him to win, perhaps
inside the distance”.
Brian Pretorius: former amateur boxer.
“It may come as a surprise to many Lovett
die-hards, but I feel that Oosthuizen has the
speed and skill to beat him, and don’t forget
that he hits equally as hard, if not harder”.
Jeff Ellis: editor of African Ring.
“No fighter light heavyweight fighter in this
country will beat Lovett. Yes, Oosthuizen is a predatory southpaw and he can hit like applejack, but when the chips are down, it will be Lovett who’ll emerge triumphant!”
Herby Vermeulen: former amateur
“I like Oosthuizen. Insofar as endurance and
staying power are concerned, I would select
him to win what should be a terrific fight”.
Harold Volbrecht: trainer of Tommy Oosthuizen. “Tommy is the finest prospect I’ve ever trained and he’ll have too much of everything on the night! Taking nothing away from Lovett, who is a fine fighter, he has never faced anyone with Tommy’s power and accuracy and I’m predicting a knockout victory for Oosthuizen within eight rounds”.
Brian Mitchell: former two-time world champion and the manager of Jared Lovett. “This fight won’t be for the squeamish but I really can’t see Jared losing. He hits too hard, is physically stronger than Oosthuizen and is a more intense finisher. It’s a straight call: a knockout victory for Lovett inside six rounds”.
Colin Nathan: “Jared will have an easier
fight than most of the experts believe. He is
a tremendous finisher and his combination
punching will take the fire out of Oosthuizen
within five rounds”.
Annette van Schalkwyk: sports reporter.
“Although I’m a ‘southerner’ like Lovett, I
think that Oosthuizen has an edge in this
contest due to his trainer Harold Volbrecht,
who is highly experienced and as shrewd as
Peter Moscardi: boxing writer.
“Two predictions: Firstly that this bout can
never go twelve rounds and secondly that
the fighter who lands the first concussive
blow wins the fight!”
Lionel Hunter: former SA middleweight &
light heavyweight contender.
“I’m stringing along with Lovett, who hails
from my side of town and though I respect
Oosthuizen as a fighter, he’ll be hardpressed
to survive more than six rounds with
an in-form Lovett.”
Peter Leopeng: radio analyst. “Whoever lands the first great punch, wins the bout. It is as simple as that. One thing is sure, this bout won’t go the distance, no way!”
Andrew Smale: boxing official.
“This should be a titanic battle between two
tremendous punchers and it’s obviously a 50/50 call. Yet if I had to make a pick, I’d lean ever so slightly toward Oosthuizen, who seems to be the better boxer of the two”.
Driscoll Pettifer: boxing artist. “Jared is my favourite for the fight and I’m sticking my neck out by saying he’ll stop Tommy per courtesy of his most understated punch…the left hook!”
Kevin McCallum: sportswriter.
“Amidst an electrifying atmosphere, I think
Lovett will knock out Oosthuizen. Why?
Because he is probably the harder hitter of
the two and looks more durable and
Kwena Moabelo: radio presenter. “Oh, this is a tough one to call. One thing we all know: one of them is going down. I’ll go out on a limb and tip Lovett to win a grueling battle”.
Darryl Kukard: television producer.
“No doubt about it, Oosthuizen will win this
fight by a knockout! His (Oosthuizen’s) pinpoint accuracy and composure, together
with that fearsome left hook are an awesome combination that will prove to be
too much for Lovett to handle”.
Bob Beetson Jr: sports historian.
“Anything Oosthuizen can do, Lovett can do
better and it amazes me how many people have been picking the Boksburg fighter.
Furthermore, Oosthuizen is not a real light heavyweight and he will be lucky to last
more than four rounds. Mind you, while it lasts, this bout should be a corker”.
Art Pellulo: American boxing promoter. “An unstoppable force against an immovable object. Need I really say more? Lovett versus Oosthuizen threatens to be one of the most explosive light heavyweight fights in recent times and I find it impossible to split the two. Moreover, they are both crippling punchers and this contest could swing back and forth before the endurance factor finally determines who’ll be the ultimate winner.”
Ron Ellis: former SA heavyweight
“Jared will win the IBO Youth world light
heavyweight title and go on to become one
of the biggest local drawcards in the past
thirty years. A well balanced boxer-puncher,
he will take control of the fight from the
early rounds before posting a 6th round
Alfred Bukwana: former fighter and
respected boxing official.
“I shouldn’t be commenting on the likely
outcome of this fight but since this is a
democratic country with freedom of
expression, I’m tipping in Oosthuizen’s
favour, albeit by a very short head. Both
guys can really ‘dig’ and once they exchange
punches toe-to-toe, who knows?”
Phil Nyamane: boxing writer. “Oosthuizen to win because he’s a thinking fighter and not merely a slugger”. *Gavin Powell: fervent boxing acolyte. “With only a handful of exciting talent in the light heavyweight ranks, this bout will hopefully go down to the scorecards and though I’m not unmindful of their respective knockout credentials, I’d like to see the loser of the contest benefit from the experience. Predicting who will win is another matter, and I find it impossible to choose between the two”.