Thomas Oosthuizen solidified his claim as a super middleweight up-and-comer with a one-sided unanimous decision over game Marcus Johnson in a 10-round ShoBox: The New Generation main event in Miami, Okla., on Friday.
Oosthuizen (19-0-1, 13 knockouts), a busy 6-foot-4 southpaw from South Africa, dropped Johnson to a knee with a body shot in the eighth round en route to winning the fast-paced bout by unanimous scores of 98-91.
Johnson (21-2, 15 KOs), a former U.S. amateur standout from Houston, did well in the early rounds by pressing the taller man to the ropes and working him over with body-head combinations. However, Oosthuizen fought hard with his back to the ropes, often “shoe-shining” the 26-year-old American’s body.
The 24-year-old South African moved off the ropes in the fourth round and created enough distance with his lateral movement to nail Johnson with one-two combinations and hard hooks to the body as the tough Texan stalked forward. Johnson was able to connect with single right hands and hooks in the middle rounds, but Oosthuizen’s footwork neutralized much of his pressure and offense.
Oosthuizen, THE RING’s No. 7-rated super middleweight, took over the late rounds with sheer activity. Johnson, who looked much better than he did in his last ShoBox outing – a decision loss to Dyah Davis last April – gave it all he had in the final two rounds, but was still outworked.
In the co-featured bout of the Showtime broadcast, junior featherweight prospect Luis Del Valle remained undefeated with competitive but one-sided unanimous decision over Christopher Martin, who was dropped hard in the seventh round of the entertaining scrap.
Del Valle (16-0, 11 KOs), a 25 year old from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, won by scores of 100-89, 98-91, and 97-92, but don’t let the shutout scorecard fool you. It was a hard-fought victory by the skilled and scrappy boxer-puncher, who is closing in on contender status.
Del Valle swept the first three rounds of the bout with smart pressure and greater activity, but Martin (23-2-3, 6 KOs) jabbed his way back into the fight in the fourth round and landed clean shots in the fifth even as the Puerto Rican pressed him to the ropes. The two junior featherweights went tit for tat in round six, but Del Valle generally got off first and often in combination.
Martin was dropped in the first minute of the seventh while he attempted to box from the southpaw stance. Del Valle clipped him with a hook over his southpaw jab. However, Martin got up on wobbly legs and fought well in the final three rounds, which featured brutal exchanges.
In the opening bout of the show, 22-year-old junior lightweight prospect Jose Pedraza, of Puerto Rico, outpointed tough Houston native Gil Garcia in his first fight to go the eight-round distance.
Pedraza (8-0, 6 KOs), who dropped Garcia (5-3-1, 1 KO) in the fifth round, won by scores of 80-71 (twice) and 79-72.