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Covid 19 flare up in Australia- Horn-Tszyu in jeopardy?

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Covid 19 flare up in Australia- Horn-Tszyu in jeopardy?

Melina Pizano- Matchroom Boxing USA

Covid 19 flare up in Australia- Horn-Tszyu in jeopardy?

The Covid-19 pandemic continues and the virus has now become a bigger Factor in Australia. So, it’s only logical to wonder if the highly-anticipated showdown between former World Welterweight Champion Jeff Horn and popular prominent up-and-coming fighter, Tim Tszyu, set for late this month in Townsville may be in jeopardy of no longer having fans or being held at all?

First, on Sunday Australia’s second most populous state, Victoria, declared a state of disaster and re-imposed new nightly curfews in the capital city of Melbourne.

Sunday, Victoria health officials reported 671 new Covid infections, one of its highest days on record since the pandemic began in March. They also reported 7 additional deaths associated with the Coronavirus.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said in a televised press conference Sunday afternoon,

“The current rules have avoided thousands and thousands of cases each day, and then thousands of people in hospital and many more tragedies than we have seen. But it is not working fast enough.”  

He also announced that a curfew will be put back in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, starting tonight in Melbourne, which is inhabited by nearly 5 million people.

Australia’s Health Minister, Greg Hunt, said that the measures in Victoria are being put in place “with a heavy heart,” but he added at the briefing that the federal government is in full support of the decision for curfew and lockdown conditions to resume in Victoria and Melbourne specifically,

“We do so because they will help save and protect lives,” Hunt said.

Up through last week, Australia had only minimal Coronavirus impact with 18,000 cases for the entire country and just over 200 Covid-19 related deaths.

But, the risk of the virus spreading at rapid rate, not unlike the sky rocketing infection numbers in the U.S., is forcing the action.

So, with still three and a half weeks to go until Horn and Tszyu are scheduled to do battle on the Northeast Coast of Australia in Townsville, government officials and fight organizers have to be concerned and watching anxiously, what is transpiring 1,500 kilometers to their South.

Last month, we wrote about promoter Dean Lonergan and officials in Queensland proudly touting that the Covid 19 delayed, Horn-Tszyu fight was back on. And, that it would be at Queensland Bank Stadium outdoors in Townsville with potentially 16,000 fans or more, socially distanced in attendance.

Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said in mid-July with the re-schedule announcement, their initial projections were that the fight would bring at least, 8,500 visitors to the Northeast popular tourist city of Townsville.

According to their estimates that would generate an estimated at least 24,100 hotel nights with at least a $5.6 million impact for Townsville.

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 on the Southeast coast of Australia, 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 dominated and battered Horn for nine rounds in a TKO stoppage in Las Vegas in 2018. 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.

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A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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