It was yet another ultra-busy week for the sweet science. A week that featured major fight cards on three different continents. With all the great performances that were handed in, one man was a cut out above all other. A young upstart handed in a career-best performance as big-time boxing returned to the land down under as two tough Aussies battled it out at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium, in Townsville. Tim Tszyu treated his native countrymen to near perfect, masterclass, performance in taking apart his fellow countrymen and former welterweight world champ, Jeff Horn over eight one-sided rounds to capture both the IBF Australasian Super Welterweight Title and the WBO Global Super Welterweight Title. Tszyu also takes home our Fighter of the Week award. The stoppage victory marked the best win of the 25-year-old’s career and establishes him as the premier fighter in Australia.
Tszyu’s mission was clear as day, don’t let Horn on the inside, control the distance, and control the fight. From the opening bell on he could not have executed that game plan any better. Controlling Horn from the outside with his jab, Tszyu dominated the first two rounds and picked up the pace in round three. Clobbering his opponents with right hands and then dropping the former world champ with a perfectly placed left uppercut with 22 seconds remaining in the round. Horn got up and fought on, but to no avail. Desperately trying to lounge in and he continued to eat big right hands every time he jumped in. One in particular badly staggered Horn again midway through the fourth. A left hook to the body badly hurt the former champ again in the fifth freezing him. Tszyu seized the moment and piled on the power shots. By this point, the writing was on the wall. Horn was in a world a trouble and there was not much he could do about it. Tszyu again dropped his rival in the sixth with a ripping left hook to the body followed up with two massive overhand rights to the side of Horn’s head. The battering continued through the next two rounds. Horn’s corner finally decided that their man had seen enough and informed the ref to waive the fight off. Giving Tszyu the 8th round TKO victory and improved his unbeaten record to 16-0 (12). Following his performance, the victorious Tszyu said “I just want to let everyone know my name is Tim, not the son.”
Being the son of Kostya Tszyu, a legendary Hall of Famer and one of the greatest 140-pounders ever, left a lot of people outside of Australia wondering if Tszyu was more hype than substance. Was he simply parlaying a career off of his father’s legacy? Or was he actually the goods? He proved that he is no doubt the latter and is capable of forging his own path and perhaps one day winning a world title of his own. Tszyu is currently signed with Top Rank and while most of the world championship talent in that Jr Middleweight division is not on that side of the promotional street there are still some very good options as Tszyu nears a title shot. A fight with once-beaten world title challenger Carlos Adames would be a fun offensive scrap as would a fight with fellow unbeaten jr middleweight Sergio Garcia. A win over either of those names should propel Tszyu in the WBO rankings, where he is currently ranked ninth and should be moving up following his latest victory, and could realistically land Tszyu a world title shot be late 2021.