Tim Tszyu vs. Tony Harrison will stream live this Saturday night on Showtime at 10:45 p.m. ET/7:45 p.m. PT.
Showtime Boxing continues its consistent schedule as a junior middleweight bout is being held at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday here in the states but Sunday afternoon “Down Under.” Junior middleweight contender Tim Tszyu (21-0) will face the tough, crafty veteran Tony Harrison (29-3-1) for the interim WBO junior middleweight title. The winner of this fight will have the opportunity to face the undisputed champion Jermell Charlo (35-1-1), later this year. Earlier today, the WBO sent out a letter to all parties involved that the winner of Saturday night’s fight will have 180 days to negotiate a deal with Charlo, who will be joining the Showtime crew in a studio to call the fight.
TIM TSZYU LOOKS TO BE ONE STEP CLOSER TO CREATING HIS OWN LEGACY
In any sport, it’s hard to create a name for yourself when you have a parent or sibling that significantly impacted that sport. Kostya Tszyu was a beast in the ring and was someone purists tend to bring up when speaking of an era’s dominant fighters. Tim Tszyu has climbed the ranks trying to create his own legacy, and the only way he can do that is by winning a world title. That opportunity was close enough to where he could taste it, but an unfortunate training incident involving Charlo delayed such dreams. Tszyu had an opportunity to wait it out and fight Charlo at a later date but being that he was already in camp and his last fight was in March 2022, he was trying to avoid getting ring rust. That meant taking on the next man in line, which is Harrison.
This is where things get tricky, as Harrison is no slouch. When motivated and focused, Harrison can be dangerous and potentially spoil any thought of facing Charlo in the summer for a shot at the undisputed crown. What does Tszyu have to do to win this fight? He has to stay disciplined when it comes to cutting off the ring. He cannot find himself chasing Harrison around the ring, which will play into Harrison’s style. Tszyu will have to also go to the body early and hard, which was the key for Charlo in his second fight against Harrison. If he can slow Harrison down with the body shots, then he could have a shot at getting him out of there late in the fight.
TONY HARRISON WANTS TO BE ‘SUPER BAD’ AND EARN A THIRD FIGHT AGAINST JERMELL CHARLO
When you look at the record of Tony Harrison, his three losses came from guys that can crack, like Willie Nelson, Jarrett Hurd, and Jermell Charlo. The 32-year-old Harrison is again facing someone that can punch in Tszyu, with the exception that those three guys mentioned had more experience coming into the fight than Tszyu. When it comes to facing world-class competition, Harrison checks all of the boxes. Does the question become whether Harrison has enough legs to keep off a young gunn like Tszyu for twelve rounds or less? Harrison will be eight months removed from his last fight, which was a unanimous decision victory over Sergio Garcia (33-2), so he shouldn’t have too much ring rust.
What does Harrison have to do to win this fight? If he can turn back the clock and fight Tszyu the way he did in the first fight against Charlo, it’ll be a long night for the Australian contender. Harrison will have to make it ugly in there and frustrate Tszyu to the point where he gets reckless with his punch selection and defense. Harrison can box effectively from the outside, minimize the exchanges up close, and hold in spots. If he can do this while still throwing some showy punches, he can cruise to a victory even if the cards are stacked against him, considering the fight is in Australia. The question is, do Harrison’s legs have that type of performance left in them?
TIM TSZYU VS. TONY HARRISON PREDICTION
I absolutely love this matchup, as Tyszu is green enough that you don’t know what you’ll get from him with the pressures of fighting at home. Meanwhile, Harrison has all the tools to beat Tszyu on paper, but questions concerning his legs and/or stamina to beat the younger Tszyu won’t be answered until fight night. Although the oddsmakers are leaning towards the younger Tszyu, I will go with Harrison by decision since he knows the third fight with Charlo (which he really wants) is next if he wins.
TIM TSZYU VS. TONY HARRISON BETTING ODDS
Per DraftKings, Tim Tszyu is the favorite at -280, and Tony Harrison is the underdog at +210.
Tim Tszyu: Decision +225; KO/TKO +115
Tony Harrison: Decision +475; KO/TKO +500