Tim Tszyu’s next fight reportedly locked in for Vegas spectacular in biggest test yet

Tim Tszyu’s next fight reportedly locked in for Vegas spectacular in biggest test yet
  • PublishedJanuary 29, 2024

Australia’s WBO super welterweight champ Tim Tszyu is set to face American star Keith Thurman in Las Vegas on Sunday, March 31 according to reports out of the US – with arch rival Michael Zerafa also set to fight for a world title on the same card.

ESPN boxing journalist Mike Coppinger tweeted on Thursday that Tszyu will headline against Thurman on a blockbuster card which doubles as the first of a new Pay-Per-View deal between Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and Amazon Prime.

Boxingscene has also reported the long overdue mandatory between WBA middleweight champ Erislandy Lara and Melbournian Michael ‘Pretty Boy’ Zerafa will also feature on the same Las Vegas event.

For Tszyu, the headliner will be the biggest test of his undefeated career.

After almost two years out of the sport, all eyes will be on the return of Thurman (30-1) – the American star who once unified the welterweight division and has never lost to anyone not named Manny Pacquiao.

A former holder of the WBA and WBC welterweight titles, the American star has been kept out of the ring for a variety of reasons, including injury, since his strong decision win over Mario Barrios.

Yet despite his inactivity, the WBA still has Thurman ranked at No.2 in the welterweight division behind unified king Crawford.

Keith Thurman (L) and Manny Pacquiao battle it out in 2019. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Keith Thurman (L) and Manny Pacquiao battle it out in 2019. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

In fact, since August last year the former world champ – who is part of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) stable – has been linked to fights with Terence Crawford, Devin Haney, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, even Claressa Shields following her jovial call out for a mixed-gender clash.

Back in 2015, Thurman’s rise to the top of the welterweight division saw him become one of the biggest names in the sport.

After beating Robert Guerrero for the WBA strap, he then had three more big wins against Luis Collazo, Shawn Porter, and Danny Garcia.

The announcement ends months of speculation for ‘The Soul Taker’, who initially wanted to fight Erickson Lubin in Las Vegas on the same weekend as the hyped NRL season launch in Sin City.

Talks between the two camps broke down this week however.

Zerafa, meanwhile, finally gets his world title shot after waiting for the best part of a year to face Lara.

Initially, PBC wanted a fight between the champ and former two-division titlist Danny Garcia, with Zerafa told he would get a place on the undercard and shot at the winner.

Yet the fight, which was initially slated for August, never happened.

Zerafa has not fought since November 2022, when he scored a decision win over Danilo Creati in Sydney.

A win for both Australians could see them pitched into a massive title fight for the middleweight strap.

Should he beat Thurman, Tszyu could also opt for a whole range of potential fights Stateside.

Earlier this month Crawford’s trainer Bernie Davis declared Tszyu was now the “most attractive” option for his fighter next up – insisting the welterweight king is keen to move up and claim gold in a fourth weight class.

Davis added that Tszyu was the “right one” thanks to his “spectacular” trio of wins in 2023 – against Tony Harrison, Carlos Ocampo and Brian Mendoza — and suggested the showdown would be a “big fight” in either Australia or the US.

Elsewhere this month, undefeated US prospect Ortiz Jnr has also called out Tszyu, with his legendary promoter Oscar De La Hoya also willing to make the fight in Australia.

The undefeated 25-year-old has won 20 straight fights as a professional, and every one of them via finish.


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