In the co-main event of HBO’s Golovkin vs. Macklin Boxing After Dark triple-header, Thomas Oosthuizen (21-0-2, 13 knockouts) took on Brandon Gonzales (17-0-1, 10 knockouts) in a bout that many thought was going to be nothing but a showcase bout. How can you blame them? With Gonzales just recently coming off a long layoff, it was understandable when odds-makers had Gonzales pegged as a near 4:1 underdog. Underdog status or not, Gonzales went in there the much less experienced fighter (as well as the much shorter one), and still managed to give Oosthuizen one of his toughest fights to date.
From the start of the first round it was quickly obvious that this fight would turn out to be far from what many had expected. For one thing, Gonzales seemed supremely confident as he relied on slick movement to weave in and out of range and peppering Oosthuizen with blows. Watching this and noticing that Oosthuizen seemed incredibly uncomfortable early in the fight, it was easy to forget the chatter of the “showcase” bout that this was supposed to be. For being as inexperienced as he is, Gonzales showed great poise and consistency when administering his attack to the body and head of Oosthuizen.
As Gonzalez continued taking these early rounds, it seemed so sure that Gonzales was on his way to scoring the upset. Once again, fans were wrong as Oosthuizen stormed back in rounds 5 and 6, and began to steal some of his own rounds. With Gonzales obviously slowing, Oosthuizen took advantage of his opponent and began landing the much harder and effective punches between the two of them. No longer was this the fairly one-sided bout that Gonzales had made it out to be early on. This had turned into a fight, and for the remainder of the ten rounds, Oosthuizen made Gonzales feel and realize that sobering fact.
After a competitive ten rounds between the two of them, the judges announced the scores: (98-92) for Gonzales, (96-94) for Oosthuizen, and (95-95). The majority draw is undoubtedly a frustrating and unsatisfying conclusion to a ten round bout such as this, but at least this gives the fighters an opportunity to really be at their best should they decide to share the ring again.