Diamond ring for Tommy

Tommy Oosthuizen IBO Super Middleweight Champion of the World

Tommy Oosthuizen put on an entertaining master class to beat Rowland Bryant over 12 rounds in New York in defence of his IBO super-middleweight belt on August 2nd 2012.

Making his fifth defence, Oosthuizen dominated through fast hands and a wickedly effective jab to win a unanimous points decision. The judges scored it 118- 110, 117-111, 117-111.

Despite the score line, it was an absorbing fight kept interesting by Bryant’s ability to land heavy right hands. If the bout showed one thing it was Oosthuizen’s granitelike chin which stood up well against a recognised puncher.

Bryant wasn’t especially fast on his feet and his only tactic was to stalk forward and throw right hands. It might have worked against a lesser fighter, but Oosthuizen’s speed and guile saw him avoid obvious discomfort.

Worryingly, his defence wasn’t up to scratch and Bryant’s attack earned dividends through the middle rounds and also in the 12th round as he landed heavily.

Oosthuizen later conceded as much, saying: “Bryant’s a tough guy. He threw good shots. I need to work on my defence . . . defending with my face isn’t working.”

Notwithstanding this flaw, the 12 rounds allowed Oosthuizen to demonstrate his vast array of skills. His jab was a thing of beauty, while he also frequently landed his heavy left hand. Bryant, however, took the shots well, although the rat-a-tat attack clearly slowed his ambitions.

Rugged and determined, he desperately sought the KO, but with Oosthuizen too quick on his feet, he wasn’t able to find the opening to land the money shot.

Oosthuizen teed off with superb shots in the 10th, only for the American to come roaring back late in the fight.

It was an assured, workmanlike display that will have gone down well with New York’s boxing cognoscenti.

Said promoter Rodney Berman: “It was a good win on debut in New York against a tough fighter who pushed Tommy all the way. The fans acknowledged him for his skills and reckon he is a match for any of the elite fighters. Tommy is ready to step up against anyone, provided the terms are fair.”

Oosthuizen will return to SA for a brief rest before going into camp for another fight he has lined up in the US in October.