Gallo Images/Getty Images
Gonzales has some obvious physical tools, and he is well thought of by the likes of Jeff Mayweather and Virgil Hunter. But he's done nothing so far in the professional ring to indicate that he is anywhere near ready for a fighter like Oosthuizen.
If Gonzales was a prospect like Gary Russell Jr., who wowed in his six- and eight-rounders, it would be a different matter. I remember watching Gonzales' eight-round unanimous decision over Don Mouton last January on Friday Night Fights, and I literally had trouble staying awake through it.
His last fight before that was just over a year ago, in June of 2012, when he took a full eight rounds to beat 6-4 Elie Augustama.
Oosthuizen has not exactly fought world-beaters yet, but it's been a few years since he was fighting the likes of Mouton and Augustama.
Gonzales is coming up fast on 30, so I can see the strategy behind throwing him in against somebody like Oosthuizen. Of all the highly ranked super middleweights, he might be the most beatable. A win here puts Gonzales firmly on the map.
No doubt his handlers feel he's ready for this.
But there's a big difference between sparring some rounds in the gym against world-class competition, and trying to beat hungry, highly rated contenders over 12 rounds. I expect Oosthuizen to take control of the fight in the second half and win comfortably.
Thomas Oosthuizen by decision, 117-111.