A delayed prominent fight in Australia between former WBO Welterweight champ Jeff Horn and rising unbeaten star Tim Tszyu is now re-scheduled for August and will have the possibility for huge amounts of fans in attendance at an outdoor stadium.
The rescheduling was announced Sunday that Horn vs. Tszyu, originally to have been in March, will now take place on Wednesday night August 26th, in Townsville, Queensland, on Australia’s northeast coast. And, the bout will have the possibility of at least 16,000 or more socially distanced fans attending at Queensland County Bank Stadium.
Queensland (the territory) Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk happily tweeted the government approval/announcement of Horn-Tszyu Sunday afternoon:
The Horn v Tszyu fight is back on and I’m happy to confirm it’s going ahead at Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Wednesday, 26 August 2020.
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) July 12, 2020
In the statement released Sunday, Palaszczuk proudly touted how the area has handled the Covid 19 pandemic and looks forward to the tourism impact of the re-scheduled fight,
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the tourism and events industry, but thanks to the efforts of Queenslanders to flatten the curve, we’ve been able to slowly ease restrictions and start reopening our economy.
“I’m thrilled to be able to confirm this fight will take place at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Wednesday, 26 August 2020 and that we’ll be able to welcome 16,000 fans into the stadium.
“That’s 16,000 people that will be spending money in the local economy and supporting local recovery efforts.
“It’s the perfect opportunity for interstate boxing fans to fly to Townsville for the fight and then stay on and take a break in the region.”
Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said their initial projections were that the fight would bring at least, 8,500 visitors to Townsville, generating an estimated at least 24,100 hotel nights with at least a $5.6 million impact for Townsville.
As we wrote previously, Tszyu is the son of former Undisputed World Jr. Lightweight champ, Kostya Tszyu, and is an up and coming star himself at 15-0, 11 KOs. And, he was slated to fight the biggest named opponent of his career in the 32 year old Horn, who defeated future Hall of Famer, Manny Pacquiao, in a controversial 12 round decision for WBO World Welterweight Title in 2017.
That fight was held in Brisbaine, at an outdoor stadium with over 35,000 in attendance.
However, Horn’s reign was short lived, as he only defended the title once, before Terence Crawford destroyed him in June of 2018. Crawford dominated and battered Horn for nine rounds before a TKO stoppage in Las Vegas that summer. It was also the one and only fight Horn’s fought outside of Australia.
Horn, 20-2-1, also was stopped by fellow Australian Michael Zerafa in August of 2019, but avenged that defeat with a 12-round majority decision rematch win over Zerafa five months later last December.
The 25 year old Tszyu is a Jr. Middleweight and the 10 round non-title fight will likely be held at that weight limit or a similar “catch weight” of just under 154 lbs.
Promoter Dean Lonergan had maintained throughout the Coronavirus pandemic that they wanted to wait until it was safe and reasonable to have the Tszyu-Horn fight with fans in attendance. Now, that will be the case.
Australia has had little impact from Covid 19 (especially compared to places like the U.S. and the U.K.), as they have had only just over 9,000 total cases confirmed to this point and fewer than 110 deaths. The Queensland territory has had fewer than 1,100 cases over the last 4 months.
The much anticipated battle will likely be the most prominent fight to be held in Australia for the rest of this year.
In the statement released Sunday, Tszyu said,
“I’m really excited for this fight. My dad fought in front of packed Townsville Stadium. I hope to put on a great show for everyone.”
The former champ Horn, who is still one of the most beloved sports stars “down under” over the past five years, said,
I can’t tell you how happy I am,” he said. “To finally have a new date and to know I’ll be fighting in Townsville in front of a home crowd is just great.
“I’m also proud that this fight will do it’s bit to help Queensland’s economy get moving again and especially North Queensland.”
Tickets will go on sale Monday morning in Australia with a formal press conference with the fighters coming mid-day.