A prominent unbeaten Australian Junior Middleweight currently has his biggest fight of his pro career on hold, because of the Coronavirus. And, the son of a former World Championship legend in that country says that he wants to wait until fans can come to see his matchup later this summer.
Tim Tszyu, 15 – 0, 11 KOs and the son of former Undisputed Junior Lightweight champion, Kostya Tszyu, gave the media his thoughts to the Sydney Morning Herald, “down under” on Thursday,
Tim Tszyu has shut down a proposal to fight Jeff Horn in an empty stadium, preferring to wait until crowds are again allowed to fill sporting arenashttps://t.co/v2WMuUMPCR
— SMH Sport (@SMHsport) April 2, 2020
Tszyu was slated to fight the biggest named opponent of his career, former WBO World Welterweight champion and fellow Australian, Jeff Horn, in a 10 round battle in a stadium in Queensland, two weeks ago.
However, their March 21st fight was postponed due Coronavirus pandemic reaching Australia and shutting down all sports there, as well.
“I would much prefer a stadium as much as everyone else. I have to train in a gym and have a proper preparation, at the level I’m at everything needs to be at 100 per cent. The fight is the easy part, it’s the training where you need to figure it all out. It’s hard if you can’t prepare to your full potential.
“In this period of time, once we can get through it, we can get back to normal life. It’s not just boxing that’s affected, it’s every sport in general. We just have to get through this crisis.
“That’s the thing – once all of this is finished, it will be one of the biggest events that has ever been. That’s the best part about it.”
As for his opponent, the 32-year old Horn scored a controversial upset decision win over soon to be Hall of Famer, Manny Pacquiao in July of 2017, capturing the WBO World Championship. It 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 last December.
Meantime, Tszyu’s father remains an immensely popular sports figure in Australia after having first won the IBF title in 1995, and then had four successful title defenses in Australia in the late 90’s. He later was the undisputed 140 lb. champ for four years in the early 2000s fighting both in the U.S. and Australia.
The younger Tszyu is regarded, as a potential world champion, as well, at either 154 or 160 lb. And, this fight would obviously be highly popular and likely, held in the outside stadium in front of 30,000 or more.
That’s predicated on when fans would be allowed to be back in attendance at sporting events later this summer?
Currently, the impact in Australia is slight, where as of Friday, there were fewer than 6,000 COVID-19 cases nationwide reported with only 28 deaths.