Tim Tszyu Will Return To Australian Ring In July
Arguably the most popular fighter in Australia will be back in the ring for the second time in 2021 later this Summer. This, as rising, unbeaten Jr. Middleweight Tim Tszyu announced at a Thursday press conference in Sydney that he will fight well-known veteran Michael Zerafa July 7th at the Newcastle Entertainment Center.
Tim Tszyu vs Michael Zerafa in a Night of Reckoning ?
July 7. Newcastle. Cannot WAIT for this ???
— FOXSportsAUS (@FOXSportsAUS) May 6, 2021
Tszyu, the WBO’s #1 contender, was last in the ring in that same arena in late March. That’s when he suffered an early cut, but still out-gunned veteran, journeyman Dennis Hogan in a 5th round TKO to improve to 18-0, 14 KOs. And, he won for the third straight time post-Covid 19 pandemic by KO or stoppage.
Zerafa, 28-4, 17KOs, is 29 year old native of Melbourne, Australia. And he won his last fight in mid-March with a 1st round knockout of aged, former Super Middleweight champ, Anthony Mundine (who is 43) . That win came following a pair of fights with former WBO World Welterweight, champ Jeff Horn. Zerafa stopped Horn in the 9th round of their August 2019 meeting, but dropped a 10 round majority decision to Horn five months later, in the December 2019 rematch.
Tszyu, who is the son legendary, Hall of Fame fighter Kostya Tszyu, is based in Sydney has grown immensely in popularity fighting in front of sold out crowds “down under” including his own KO of Horn last year in front of over 20,000 at an outdoor stadium in Townsville, Australia.
He has been hoping to leverage his WBO top ranking to get a shot at their new champ, Brian Castano. However, Castano has chosen instead to battle Jermell Charlo in an Undisputed 154 lb. showdown that will be 10 days after the Tszyu-Zerafa fight on July 17th in the U.S.
Charlo will be heavily favored to win and then have all the titles at Jr. Middleweight.
One thing that may be holding Tszyu back is not coming to the United States, as Australian twins Jason and Andrew Moloney have done in fighting in world title fights in Top Rank bouts in Las Vegas. And, top Lightweight contender George Kambosos will do later this Summer in a title shot against Teofimo Lopez in South Florida.
For now, Tszyu is content to sell out arenas in his native land and wait for what happens next after Charlo-Castano.