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Friday, April 27, 2012
Oosthuizen making U.S. TV debut

By Dan Rafael

One of the more intriguing fighters in the super middleweight division is Thomas Oosthuizen of South Africa. He's a tall southpaw with good power and a fan-friendly style.

He has fought only once so far in the United States -- when he outpointed Aaron Pryor Jr. on an Andre Berto undercard in September 2011 -- but he'll have his second fight in America on Friday night. That's when he will also make his U.S. television debut in the main event of a tripleheader on Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation" (11 ET/PT) at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.

Oosthuizen (18-0-1, 13 KOs) isn't in an easy fight, either. He will face Houston's Marcus Johnson (21-1, 15 KOs), a very talented but so far underachieving former amateur standout.

This is an excellent matchup because the winner could be going places.

Oosthuizen, whose nickname is "Tommy Gun," is now co-promoted by Lou DiBella, which means opportunities to fight in the United States will be plentiful.

"Yes, that's the goal," Oosthuizen said of fighting more regularly in the U.S. "[I want to fight at] MGM Grand in Las Vegas and [in] the main events at the big arenas. If you want something bad enough, nobody can take it away from you. So at the end of the day, I just have to keep on winning fights and get more attention in the States and worldwide."

Because few in the U.S. have seen Oosthuizen, he was asked whose style his most resembles. He wasn't shy about answering, comparing himself to a couple of all-time greats.

"I would say I'm a mix between a Bob Foster and Tommy Hearns," he said. "Bob Foster could fight very well on the inside, and Tommy Hearns was great from the outside. And I'm always training hard, so I would say a mix between those two."

If Oosthuizen can finish Johnson the way Foster and Hearns drilled so many of their opponents, that would be impressive. It would also accomplish one of Oosthuizen's goals for the fight -- to not only win, but to look impressive.

"I won't be satisfied with a 'W'. I'm here to make an impression," he said. "I have to look good. Every fight is an important fight to my career, and I have to show the people that I've got that something special."

If he wins, Oosthuizen would like to fight one of the big names in the 168-pound division.

"There are a few guys that I would really like to fight; all the guys that were in the Super Six and [Lucian] Bute. All of them: Mikkel Kessler, Andre Ward and Carl Froch. To be the best, you have to beat the best. It's easy to say, but it's going to be a tough challenge."

Also on the card, Puerto Rican junior featherweight prospect Orlando Del Valle (15-0, 11 KOs) will face Christopher Martin (23-1-3, 6 KOs) of Chula Vista, Calif., and junior lightweight Jose Pedraza (7-0, 6 KOs), possibly Puerto Rico's best prospect, will open the card against Gil Garcia (5-2-1, 1 KO) of Houston.