With a revamped technique and a new focus on footwork, Robert Berridge remains determined to upset South African Thomas Oosthuizen in their IBO light heavyweight world title bout in Gauteng next weekend.

The fight is the biggest of Berridge's career and is a second chance of sorts as he continues to rebuild from a devastating TKO loss to Russian Vasily Lepikhin (17-1) in the US in August last year.

The Wanganui southpaw has picked up wins over Togasilimai Letoa (15-16-1) and Andrew Robinson (4-3) this year as he gets his career back on track.

Berridge has also summoned American trainer Barry Robinson to help with his preparation - which has been done on short notice - as he looks to battle Oosthuizen who is ranked at No 6 by the WBA and WBC.


Oosthuizen (24-0-2) is also a tall man for a light heavyweight at 1.93m and Lepikhin's 1.92m height, which provided a noted reach advantage, proved challenging for the 1.73m Berridge (26-2-1) to negotiate during their bout.

But Robinson's advice has centred around building a gameplan to bring down the taller fighter, while improved footwork should help Berridge's ability to move around the ring.

"I think this fight means a lot more to me, a bit of redemption against a tall fighter and there's a world title on the line, so the prep has been a lot better," Berridge, 30, said.
"It's just whether or not I can put that in to practice in the ring."

Taking the fight on short notice and in Oosthuizen's hometown, has put Berridge at a distinct disadvantage, while there's also a whisper that the South African is building towards a showdown with WBC champion Adonis Stevenson (26-1).

The IBO isn't one of the four major sanctioning bodies in boxing's alphabet soup but it is a respected organisation.

Robinson will be in Berridge's corner for the first time during the bout with Oosthuizen that will take place next Sunday morning (NZT).

"I'm sure that's going to be good knowing that he's experienced and he's had that experience with other fighters," Berridge said.

Robinson is largely based at the Saigon Sports Club in Vietnam where he helped mastermind Kiwi UFC featherweight Dan Hooker's recent switch to southpaw, which resulted in an impressive knockout win over Hatsu Hioki at UFC Fight Night 65 in Adelaide earlier this month.


"The only difference I can make, really, is to remind Robert that he's capable of doing it," Robinson said. "He already knows he can punch hard so it's just reminding him that he's also a smart guy and he can set that power up."

Berridge's left hook is one of his most dangerous weapons but he will need to box wisely against the taller Oosthuizen as he looks to set up his power shots rather than swinging for the fences from the early going.

"Robert's going to have to find a way to be smart about how he gets in there, especially against a tall guy," Robinson said.