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Boxing | South Africa

Tommy Oosthuizen © Gallo Images

Oosthuizen challenges for IBO belt

South Africa’s Tommy Oosthuizen will try to regain the IBO light-heavyweight belt that he held in June 2015 when he meets German-based Russian Igor Mikhalkin for the vacant title at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany,on Friday night.

The 29-year-old Oosthuizen (27-0-2; 16), who has held the IBO super-middleweight and light-heavyweight belts, was stripped of the light-heavyweight belt when he came in overweight for his defence against Robert Berridge.

He has also held the IBO Youth light-heavyweight, IBO Youth super-middleweight, WBA Pan African super-middleweight, WBC International light-heavyweight, WBA Pan African light-heavyweight and ABU (SADC) light-heavyweight titles.

Oosthuizen has won two fights since being stripped of the belt; against Daniel Bruwer (w tko 9) and Said Mbelwa (w ko 5).

Mikhalkin, 31, who has a record of 19-1; 9, won his first 11 fights after making his debut in November 2007 before suffering his first loss on 22 May 2010 against Aleksy Kaziemski (18-1).

Since suffering this loss he has remained unbeaten in eight fights and captured WBO Intercontinental and European light-heavyweight titles.

It is difficult to pick a winner in this fight in a battle of southpaws, as Mikhalkin has no name fighters on his record and only a 45 percent knockout ratio; and Oosthuizen has only had two fights in the last 23 months against limited opposition.

Oosthuizen is listed at No 16 and Mikhalkin at No 21 in the latest IBO rankings.

The champions in the major organisations are Andre Ward (WBA, WBO, IBF) and Adonis Stevenson (WBC).


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