'Tommy Gun' eyes big five

2011-11-24 17:01

Johannesburg - Boksburg boxer Tommy "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen is eyeing the big five in the middleweight division after fending off "Mexican Assassin" Francisco Sierra at Emperors Palace on Wednesday night.

Promoters Golden Gloves and seasoned trainer Harold Volbrecht were still weighing up the pros and cons on Thursday of the IBO title-holder's readiness to tackle more renowned champions.

It would appear that the consensus is that Oosthuizen should first get more exposure - and greater experience.

An option is a couple of televised bouts in the United States, where he has already earned a measure of respect and awareness following his recent impressive win over the seasoned Aaron Pryor junior.

Meanwhile, Sierra showed why - despite his loss - he's labelled "The Mexican Assassin."

His challenge was based entirely on the forlorn supposition that he could gain a victory via a single knock-out blow.

He made little or no effort to conceal this, with a minimal work-rate of punches.

His record of securing 22 knock-outs from 24 victories in his 30 previous fights was testimony that Oosthuizen's approach was right in not taking Sierra lightly in spite of winning almost every round.

It therefore came as a surprise when the referee stopped the fight in the 11th round.

Sierra might never have come close to decking Oosthuizen with his stinging, but sporadic punches, but the Mexican never looked like being knocked out himself.

The referee's decision to halt the contest was described by one official as "a brain freeze".

It marred what was an engrossing, if unspectacular contest.

The battle of attrition should have been allowed to continue towards the inevitable conclusion of an Oosthuizen points decision after 12 rounds.

As for Sierra, he was almost in tears over the referee's arbitrary intervention and remonstrated bitterly over the technical knock-out decision.

The five-bout programme billed as "The Grand Slam" was nothing of the sort.

Zack Mwerkassa and Joey Stiglingh gained first and second round knock-out wins respectively against under-strength opponents at the start of the programme.

Sipho Taliwe's WBC international junior lightweight win over Jasper Seroke was more of a contest and there was some belated action in the drawn fight between Samuel Malinga and Jason Bederman.