Thomas Oosthuizen’s immediate concern will be his IBO Light Heavyweight clash against Ryno Liebenberg at Emperors Palace on Saturday. Oosthuizen is reportedly being lined up to face Andre Ward in a Golden Gloves/RocNation co-promotion bout should the southpaw see off the West Rand fighter. However the 26-year old would have taken note of Jean Pascal’s decision not to participate in the elimination process to determine the mandatory challenger for the WBC Light Heavyweight title.
During the 2014 WBC Convention, the WBC Board of Governors voted to make the winner of the Pascal upcoming March 14 fight against Sergei Kovalev the division’s mandatory challenger. The WBC Board of Governors unprecedented vote was aimed at making the winner of Kovalev vs Pascal meet belt holder Adonis Stevenson with all four belts being contested. Kovalev has expressed his desire to continue his quest to become the WBC officially-designated mandatory challenger.
What it all means is that if Kovalev wins his fight against Jean Pascal, the Russian will become the WBC Light Heavyweight Diamond Champion and mandatory challenger of the division. Should the Canadian win, the WBC will establish a process to determine the mandatory contender of the division in accordance with the WBC’s Rules & Regulations. This could be the gap for the highly-rated Oosthuizen, or indeed another African fighter who has been waiting in the wings and been biding his time, Isaac Chilemba, who is ranked second in the light heavy division by the organisation.
However if the Oosthuizen-Ward fight is to become a reality it will almost certainly see the South African return to super middleweight ruling this scenario out, opening a gap for the Malawi-born Chilemba.