Tim Tszyu rejigs plans for world title fight after losing ‘bloodbath’ against Sebastian Fundora

Tim Tszyu rejigs plans for world title fight after losing ‘bloodbath’ against Sebastian Fundora
  • PublishedApril 1, 2024

Tim Tszyu might be down but he is far from out, although his plans to become a boxing big dog will have to take a different route after his points loss to Sebastian Fundora on Sunday.

Tszyu entered his Las Vegas super-welterweight unification world title fight against Fundora as one of the hottest properties in the sport, but a stray elbow from his 197-centimetre opponent left him with a gaping head wound late in the second round.

It left him unable to see clearly for 10 rounds and scuppered his plans to emulate his father Kostya as a unified world champion.

The 29-year-old described the fight as a “bloodbath” on social media, and he took the split-decision loss — his first defeat in 25 fights — graciously despite the unfortunate circumstances.

“You’re a legend. Congratulations on the victory, man. “You’re a f***in’ warrior,” he told Fundora in the locker room after the fight.

“[The belt is] all yours, man. Victory was hard earned.”

Tszyu relinquished his WBO super welterweight belt and missed the chance to claim the vacant WBC strap in Las Vegas to take his place among boxing’s elite.

Before the loss, the 29-year-old had a $US10 million ($15.3 million) deal on the table to fight either pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford or former unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.

Tszyu will likely need to enact a rematch clause with Fundora to regain his belts and put his plans for world domination back on track.

“It definitely affects the schedule,” manager George Rose said.

“Everything that we’d planned for this year is now re-jigged but I don’t think it’s for a bad reason. It just means there’s another fight for Tim to consider.

“I would love to see Tim have the rematch next, but if an opportunity to fight Errol Spence Jr pops up or an opportunity to fight Terence Crawford … if one of those pops up, you’re silly not to consider it.

“They’re fights he’d love to have.”

Rose said talks over a Fundora rematch would begin in the next few days, with a return to Las Vegas or a fight on home turf possibilities.

Boxer Sebastian Fundora touches Tim Tszyu with a right jab.
Fundora had a massive reach advantage over Tszyu.(AP: John Locher)

“We will have a discussion over when we will activate it or whether any of these other big fish want to jump up and swim with Tim,” he said.

While Tszyu’s world title is gone, Rose insisted the Sydney fighter had lost no fans, given his willingness to take on the “Towering Inferno” with less than two weeks’ notice after his original opponent, Keith Thurman, was injured.

Even US commentators applauded Tszyu for his bravery in continuing against Fundora despite being virtually blinded in one eye.

“It just showed how much of a warrior Tim actually is and how he’s ready to get in there and absolutely put everything on the line,” Rose said.

“He’s a bloke who couldn’t see for 10 rounds and he still managed to push it to a split decision.”

Hoping he hadn’t fallen down the pecking order, Tszyu was shattered but determined to rebound quickly.

“If it ain’t a win, I’m not satisfied and I’m quite devastated. It is what it is,” he said.

“But I will bounce back.”

He said he had no regrets about his corner not pushing for the fight to be called a no-contest despite the “waterfall” of blood, which would have allowed Tszyu more time to prepare for the awkward southpaw.


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