'Tommy Gun' rearing to go

Tommy Oosthuizen (Gallo Images)
Tommy Oosthuizen (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The return to the ring of former South African boxing golden-boy Tommy Oosthuizen will take place at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.

The 26-year-old Oosthuizen is set to take on Russian, Denis Grachev, in a Golden Gloves tournament.

During his year-long hiatus from the ring, the unbeaten Oosthuizen relinquished his IBO super-middleweight title. This time around he would be making his debut in the light-heavyweight division.

Nicknamed "Tommy Gun", Oosthuizen was confidence and vowed he would be back at his best at the pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday.

"I have been in the gym for three months solid now and I look forward to get back into action," Oosthuizen said.

"A good win will also put me in line to gain a shot at the IBO light-heavyweight title in February and that's extra incentive to come back in style."

Oosthiuzen said he was over his personal problems and had given up his wayward ways.

"If you're asking me if I'm walking with a bible under my arm, the answer is no. But I'm doing my job again in a fully professional manner. I'm also committed and hungry after being out of action for so long.

"I don't believe in rustiness if you are training properly and come what might, I won't be using this as an excuse."

A succession of problems associated with his weight and indiscretions, resulted in a number of bouts proposed for Oosthuizen being called off.

Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman, who once said he was "washing his hands" off the boxer, was pleased to welcome him Oosthuizen back.

"We've had positive assurances from Oosthuizen's highly respected trainer, Harold Volbrecht, that Tommy is now fit," Berman said.

In another bout, the unbeaten Kevin Lerena would face-off against Johnny Muller in a cruiserweight contest.

Ali Funeka and Russian, Roman Belaev, would contest for the IBO welterweight title.

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