at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
IBO super middleweight champion Tommy Oosthuizen, who is rated seventh in the world in his division by the authoritative Ring Magazine, produced a workmanlike, professional performance and was not unduly troubled in beating Marcus Johnson in a non-title bout at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma on Saturday morning (SA time).
It was a unanimous decision as all three judges scored the fight 98-91 in favour of Oosthuizen, with the South African achieving his main objectives of impressing in his first bout on USA television and furthering his prospects of gaining a unification bout for one of the more prestigious boxing association's titles.
Johnson came out from the opening bell “rumbling” and held a slight advantage over the opening three rounds by forcing Oosthuizen into a close-range contest.
But once Oosthuizen began to use his superior footwork and speedier punching power, he gradually took control of the proceedings and there was no doubting the outcome in the end.
The solitary knockdown of the fight, when Johnson lost his mouth guard and sunk to his knees amid a barrage of blows, effectively sealed the issue, with trainer Harold Volbrecht's tactical approach of subdue and penetrate working to a tee.
“I love you all,” was the message a delighted Oosthuizen sent back to South Africa after the fight.
The 26 year-old Johnson was described before the bout as a “pot shot” fighter who relied heavily on overcoming his opponents with a single crushing blow, but he proved to be a good deal more effective and efficient than that.
He was never outclassed in what was largely a battle of attrition and demonstrated why he had been the USA amateur champion in 2004.
His pre-fight record of 21 wins from 20 bouts, sprinkled with 16 knock-out successes, was sufficient warning to the talented 23
year-old Oosthuizen not to lower his guard and become complacent.
Oosthuizen did not disappoint, living up to his pre-fight boast of frustrating his opponent with snappy, counter-attacking combinations “because he likes to move forward and I won't have to go looking for him.”
“The big money for fighters these days,” said one observer afterwards, “is making an impact on the American TV circuit and that was the big test for Oosthuizen this time around.”
Oosthuizen had already made good progress in this respect by beating the respected Aaron Pryor junior in his only previous fight in America last September - considered by many leading boxing authorities as his best-ever performance. – Sapa