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Oosthuizen wants Usyk

Thomas Oosthuizen. Photo by Nick Lourens.

While word from Golden Gloves Promotions has been that the winner of the rematch between Thomas Oosthuizen and Thabiso Mchunu will likely face IBO Cruiserweight Champion Kevin Lerena, Oosthuizen has set his sights past the South African. The former IBO Light Heavyweight title holder wants the undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk.
“Why not? Thabiso Mchunu has fought him, Johnny Muller has fought him, Daniel Bruwer and Daniel Venter. Why not give me my shot? I’m the guy in South Africa to beat. Why not give me that fight? I’m asking South Africa to be behind me and give us that fight. He’s got four belts. It’s the shortest way to the top. Give me somebody serious and I’m going to take him serious,” said Tommy Gun.
What about Lerena?
“Kevin Lerena is still recovering from a shoulder injury. His (drug) testing went south. He’s got that to dispute. I’m just hoping all the best for him. I hope he gets through all of that and he can make the best of his career. I don’t need Kevin Lerena, I want belts. I’m a champion chasing the crown and the guy with the crown is Oleksandr Usyk,” Oosthuizen replied.
Before all of this happens the lanky southpaw has to beat Mchunu on Saturday at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, in a rematch after winning by a majority decision when they faced each other in August. Mchunu and his camp feel they were hard done by the judges in that fight.
“I won the fight,” says Mchunu. “If I didn’t win the fight we wouldn’t be doing it again.”
Mchunu told 10 Count what he learned about Oosthuizen in the previous fight.
“He runs a lot in the ring, he doesn’t engage much. He runs, he holds. He hit my guards. He didn’t land much. I just have to cut him off because he runs a lot. I’m expecting him to run more (on Saturday).”
Unlike Oosthuizen, Mchunu is not thinking past this weekend’s fight.
“He (Lerena) is my training mate so when that fight happens I’ll have something to say about it. For now I’m focusing on Tommy.”
Oosthuizen also spoke about Mchunu recently when the fighters had a public workout session.
“The first time he said he’s the better boxer, which is like a slap in my face,” said Oosthuizen. “I’m the best boxer the country has seen in the last decade. Two divisions, two world titles and youth titles. I have nine belts at home, international belts. This proves I’m the best fighter in the country. This time they saying they going to make it a dog fight. Now they inviting the dog to the fight. If they talking about being the best boxer they already insulting me, now they talking about being the best fighter which I know I am, the country knows I am. Who puts me down? Nobody puts me down.”
Saturday’s Golden Gloves bill will also see IBO welterweight champion Thulani Mbenge take on Miguel Vazquez.