Boxers pulled apart before title fight
(By Sy Lerman – timeslive.co.za)
July 22, 2010
If the IBO super middleweight title rumble between holder Isaac "The Golden Boy" Chilemba and Tommy "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen at Emperors Palace on November 6 is anything like the flare-up which occurred during the boxing media conference at a sizzling Alberton grill house, it might be necessary to have the riot squad on standby.
This was the caustic, but not unreasonable sentiment of Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman after the two fighters in question squared up amid a barrage of personal insults and near-blows and had to be kept apart before the overdone emotions were reduced to cinders.
The personal animosity between Chilemba and Oosthuizen at a conference initially designed to publicise next week's box-and-dine "Rising Stars" tournament at Emperors Palace, erupted unexpectedly like a juicy T-bone steak engulfed in cascading flames on a faulty griller.
And drawn provocatively into the flare-up was Chilemba's manager, Jodie Solomon, whom Oosthuizen insinuated was having a clandestine affair with her fighter.
"This was a disgraceful, unfounded allegation," said Solomon afterwards.
"I have already consulted my attorneys and we are demanding an immediate written apology.
"If this is not forthcoming, we'll take further action and sue for defamation. No wonder Isaac almost hit the ceiling."
Oosthuizen's uncharacteristic outburst may have stemmed from the fact that he was initially due to fight Australian Michael Bolling for the vacant IBO super middleweight title at Emperors Palace last month - only having to withdraw from the bout as a result of injuries suffered in a motor accident.
And his frustration must have exceeded boiling point while viewing replacement Chilemba taking the title with a clear-cut points victory after coming into the fight as a substitute.
Oosthuizen, unbeaten in 11 fights, is regarded as one of, if not South Africa's most promising fighters and Malawian-born Chilemba has only been beaten once in 15 bouts during an impressive career.
And, it seems, what was already an intriguing confrontation between these two up-and-coming boxers, has now been fuelled with a juicy and burning grudge element.