WBC gains for Oosthuizen-Liebenberg grudge fight

2014-12-24 15:40

Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman has returned from the World Boxing Council convention in Las Vegas with some considerable gains for the Thomas Oosthuizen and Rayno Liebenberg grudge fight at Emperors Palace next year.

The eagerly awaited battle between Oostuizen and Liebenberg will take place on March 21.

The ratings of the two South African fighters by the four major boxing associations and the authoritative Ring Magazine have been relatively modest.

But as a result of persuasive canvassing by Berman, Oosthuizen’s WBC ranking has improved from 20th to seventh, with Liebenberg up from a projected 21st to 12th.

“Sometimes boxers from South Africa tend to be down-played by the major organisations and presenting their credentials at a personal level to members of the ranking committee can make a difference,” said Berman.

“For example, I pointed out that Oosthuizen was a past International Boxing Organisation super-middleweight champion and was still undefeated in his professional career.”

Both fighters would receive better billing for the bout, he said.

“It seemed to have the desired effect and with greater recognition for both Oosthuizen and Liebenberg by the WBC, their fight will now create a great deal more attention in the boxing world generally.”

Berman said the two fighters now had an opportunity to prove who was the best.

“Both Oosthuizen and Liebenberg have their army of loyal supporters and they have been clamouring for this fight. I had not put it on previously because their careers were seemingly heading in different directions.

With the South African public thirsty for a high-stakes fight, Berman said they would be in for a treat.

“The circumstances have changed and it’s now right to bring them together and settle once and for all the arguments as to which of the two is the superior boxer.

“Both need an impressive victory to put their careers back on track. Liebenberg after his recent defeat against the formidable Eleider Alaverez in Monte Carlo and Oosthuizen to show he still has what it takes to be a world champion.”

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