Tim Tszyu has announced himself as Australia’s next boxing force, navigating his biggest test to stop Jeff Horn after eight rounds in Townsville.
The dominant super welterweight win extends Tszyu’s career unbeaten streak to 16, the latest coming on the biggest stage yet at a rowdy Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Wednesday night.
The 25-year-old favourite answered plenty of pre-fight questions, defying Horn’s awkward, physical style with precision just as his father Kostya did in the same Queensland city 23 years ago.
Horn entered with confidence but was clumsy early, Tszyu holding is own in the first two rounds before stamping his mark in the dominant third.
— Aus-Boxing.com (@ausboxing) August 26, 2020
He landed two clean blows, the former world champion stunned after slipping twice and being knocked down again late in the round.
Horn rallied with crowd support through the later rounds but was unable to land enough significant blows.
Tszyu coming again late in the eighth round with a series of body blows and Horn unable to return for the ninth.
“I just want to let everyone know my name’s Tim, not the son (of Kostya),” he said in the ring after his huge win.
“But all respect to Jeff … it’s an honour to sell out a stadium like this with another Australian, but this is a young man’s sport and I was better.”
— Grantlee Kieza OAM (@Grantlee_Kieza) August 26, 2020
Tszyu’s WBO Global and Australian IBF super welterweight title retention sets him on track for a potential world title fight, while a series of bouts in Russia are also on the cards.
Horn, 32, and with three losses from his last five fights, faces a tough decision about whether or not to box on.
An emotional Horn said it was time to go home and hug his two daughters, not willing to make a call yet on his future.
“Tim was young, hungry. He’s an absolute champion and I can’t put anything past him,” he said.
“He’s an absolute legend and now he is the No.1 in Australia; he wasn’t before, but he’s certainly earnt it now.”
Earlier in the night Liam Wilson moved to 7-0 with a clean win against Jackson Woods, while Issac Hardman took down Jamie Weetch inside a round in a brutal display for his seventh victory from as many bouts.
Hardman then used his post-fight interview to rubbish Joe Camilleri, a comfortable winner earlier in the night, for avoiding him.
Shannon O’Connell saw off a brave effort from Kylie Fulmer, while Ben Horn worked hard for his unanimous points decision over Pat Clarke.