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Berridge outpointed in World Title Challenge

Berridge outpointed in World Title Challenge.

Kiwi Southpaw slugger Robert Berridge has been out pointed over 12 strategic rounds in his IBO World Light Heavyweight title challenge against Tommy Oosthuizen in South Africa on Sunday morning.

Although Berridge hurt the hometown boy on several occasions, he couldn’t halt the fleet footed, 6 foot 4 giant, who utilised his massive 20 cm reach advantage to fight behind a long right jab for most of the fight.

The Berridge game plan was to counter fight early, working the body and avoid the big left hand of the south-paw South African and to come on in the mid to later rounds.

But the 30 year old Kiwi, who took the bout on three weeks notice, was unable to put his foot on the accelerator as the fight progressed, despite landing his much vaunted left hand on several of occasions, and couldn’t follow up with sustained combinations to close the show.

Manager Vasco Kovacevic, felt although his man landed some good heavy shots, the altitude took the sting out of his follow up flurries.

“No excuses, Rob was a little flat and fatigued when he got on the inside, he couldn’t put the second phases together before Oosthuizen tied him up or snuck out of range.

“Given a full camp, with high altitude in mind, I am certain we could have tipped the judges scales in our favour or stopped him.

“We will be looking to challenge for the vacant title again in the very near future.”

Although Berridge lost the fight, the IBO title remains vacant after Oosthuizen failed to make weight on Saturday’s farcical weigh-in. The champion was forced to vacate the title and forfeit 30% of his purse, leaving a second bite at the prize a very real option for the Kiwi.

John McRae, director of VS LIVE, the event broadcaster which screened the bout on it’s online platform, was extremely pleased to be able deliver the event on such short notice.

“We were able to secure the rights to screen an international event and make it available to New Zealand boxing fights in a high quality, on demand format on just two weeks notice.

“The broadcast stream was top notch and is the first step in setting a new bench mark in how live events can me made available to New Zealand fans at an easily affordable cost.”

“We are however a bit grumpy about the mind games used on the Berridge camp in the lead up including the changing of the time of Rob’s fight.”

“Given the circumstances, short notice, a two week camp, fighting at altitude, the dubious weigh-in issues, threats and the shifting of the fight time at late notice, we’d be happy to support Robbie’s second shot at the title in New Zealand and look forward to bringing the Butcher back home to fight.”

Viewers can again watch the fight on demand from 12pm today

Event: D-DAY: IBO World Light Heavyweight Title
Main Event: Robert Berridge vs Tommy Oosthuizen
Date: Sunday, June 7, 2015
Broadcaster: VS LIVE


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