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Sat Apr 19 20:09:08 SAST 2014

Tommy Gun's real battle may be bulge

BONGANI MAGASELA | 12 November, 2012 07:290 Comments
Boxing from Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa
Tommy Oosthuizen of South Africa during the IBO Super Middleweight bout against Fulgencio Zunica of Columbia at Emperors Palace on November 10, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Image by: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

FULGENCIO Zuniga rates Thomas "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen highly and the Colombian, who failed to end Oosthuizen's reign as the IBO super-middleweight champion on Saturday night, said the South African will win even bigger world titles.

"I have fought the best boxers, such as Kelly Pavlik, Denis Inkin, and Lucien Bute, so I know what I'm talking about," said Zuniga through his assistant trainer Mario Baccani, who acted as translator.

The boxer was stopped in the ninth round by Pavlik in 2005, lost on points to Inkin for the WBO super-middleweight belt in 2008, and was also stopped in the fourth round by then IBF super-middleweight champion Bute in 2009.

"I hit Thomas so hard, but he took all my punches in his stride.

"His toughness will take him very far.

"He is also very fast, so I honestly believe the future is bright for him."

Zuniga, 35, however, warned Oosthuizen to take his boxing career seriously. The weight limit for the fight was 76.36kg and Oosthuizen only just made it - on the second try after being given extra time - at 76.34kg.

"You can be the best boxer out there, but if you don't take your career seriously, then you will have serious problems."

Zuniga, crouching down and fighting on the inside, often gave Oosthuizen a scare with his hooks.

Oosthuizen barely attempted to parry those punches, especially in round five.

The South African, who is rated fourth by Ring Magazine, eventually got his act together, and in the end cruised to a win, with all three judges ruling him the victor on points. The scores were 120-108, 119-109, 119-109.

The fight was Oosthuizen's sixth defence of his title. He remains undefeated after 22 fights.

This is Zuniga's sixth defeat from 32 fights.

Oosthuizen's promoter, Rodney Berman, complimented his charge on the victory but still insisted that they will have a serious talk about his weight problem.

"Potentially he is brilliant but I'm cross that he did not make the weight the first time," said Berman.

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