Veteran boxing trainer Harold Volbrecht has lifted the lid on Tommy Oosthuizen’s tawdry behaviour and says he is done for good with the wayward boxer.
Last week, promoter Rodney Berman was forced to pull the plug on the fighter’s world title bout in Germany on account of him hitting the skids yet again. It’s the latest in a catalogue of disasters surrounding Oosthuizen, with Volbrecht describing it as “a nightmare”.
While some have accused the trainer of not doing enough to control his star pupil, Volbrecht hit back by saying people had no idea how much he did for the former IBO super-middleweight champion behind the scenes.
“I pull him out of bars, I bail him out of police stations, I get him out of street fights,” he revealed. “My wife Michelle and I feel betrayed. We’ve tried for so long to keep him on the right road. As soon as he comes right, he veers off again. We’ve looked after him daily, doing the things his parents should be doing.”
Volbrecht despairs that Oosthuizen will wake up one day and realise that it’s all too late. His talent, which he has in abundance, will be wasted.
“He could have become one of the greatest in South African boxing, but he’s wasted everything. We’ll always wonder what might have been.”
Volbrecht said the consequences of his errant behaviour were far-reaching. His stablemates became frustrated with his attitude and accused the trainer of favouring his star pupil. Often, sparring partners pushed off because Oosthuizen arrived late, or not at all, and his lack of respect polluted the gym.
“He drops appointments, he lets people down. He just doesn’t understand. It’s all about him. If Tommy had a day job, clocking in and clocking out, he would lose his job. I’ve tried and tried. I can’t do this anymore.”
Volbrecht listed a long line of personal disasters with Oosthuizen that includes wrecking cars and bars and running into trouble with the law.
“I don’t know how often I’ve had calls at midnight to bail Tommy out. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other. Next weekend there will be another problem. It never stops. He even refuses to undergo drug tests – draw your own conclusions. I reckon [promoter] Rodney Berman would have a heart attack if he knew it all. I’m done with Tommy.”
The top trainer is now looking to put the wreckage of Oosthuizen behind him, starting by devoting his energies to his young stable. Indeed, he will have four youngsters on show at “Prospects at the Palace II” on Sunday.
With luck, they will help rekindle the enthusiasm that Oosthuizen all but doused through his selfish, shameful behaviour.