Tszyu looking forward to fight with Jeff Horn
By Anthony Cocks
Junior middleweight Tim Tszyu 14-0 (10) scored an impressive 10-round points win over teak-tough Dwight Ritchie 19-2 (2) at the ICC Exhibition Centre in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday night.
Tszyu busted open Ritchie’s left eye in the third round with a slashing right cross before posting a unanimous decision win by scores of 97-93, 98-92 and 98-93.
The nasty cut threatened to end the fight prematurely but IBF number nine Ritchie fought bravely until the final bell end despite effectively losing half his vision early in the fight.
Tszyu, 24, delivered a classy display of power boxing, nailing Ritchie repeatedly with his accurate right hand and left hook.
The 27-year-old Ritchie rallied in spots in the later rounds but simply didn’t have the punching power to deter Tszyu from coming forward.
Tszyu praised the performance of Ritchie after the fight and even suggested they could face each other in a rematch in a world title fight in the future.
"He is the real deal and he has shown us he is ready for bigger things," said IBF number 12 Tszyu. said.
"I think it was a great experience, Dwight is one hell of an opponent and kept me on my toes. I just remained the same, just kept fighting on, this is boxing not dancing.
"He was No. 1 in Australia for a reason so all my respect to Dwight.
"Maybe in the future we can fight for a world title in Australia one day."
Tszyu has spoken openly about his desire to face former WBO welterweight champion and Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff Horn – who faces Michael Zerafa in Bendigo, Victoria later this month – but appears to be looking overseas first.
"I just proved I am the best in Australia, I have cleaned up my division, time to think about overseas, there are only a few fights in Australia left for me," he said.
"He (Horn) is here, once he finishes his task then we can talk."
Horn returned serve, suggesting Tszyu 2.0 needed more seasoning and labelling him "a boy".
"Tim Tszyu is still a boy with a man’s name," Horn said.
"He is still holding onto that Tszyu name. He has to build himself up a little bit more.
"Sure, he is one of the best in Australia in that weight division, he is making inroads, he is doing great things for the sport but is he ready yet for that massive fight? I don’t know.
"I would like to see him against some world class opposition.”
On the undercard Mexican-born Australian Mateo Tapia 11-0 (6) survived a final round rally from Renold Quinlan 12-5 (8) to post a comfortable points victory after 10-rounds and claimed the vacant Australian super middleweight title.
Quinlan – who ended the career of former unified middleweight champion Daniel Geale with a second-round knockout three years ago – appeared wary of 21-year-old Tapia’s power early on but went gunning for the knockout in round 10.
All three judges awarded the bout to Tapia with scores of 98-92, 99-92 and 97-93.
World-class super middleweight Aidos Yerbossynuly 12-0 (8) outpointed Rocky Jerkic 17-2 (13) over 10-rounds by scores of 99-91 and 98-92 twice.
The 27-year-old Kazakh, who is ranked number six by the WBA and number nine by the WBO, was in control throughout the contest.
Welterweight Jack Brubaker 16-2-2 (8) stopped Danny Kennedy 8-1-1 (1) in the eighth round of their scheduled 10-round fight.
The fight was competitive in the early rounds before Brubaker took over in the middle of the fight, with referee Les Fear stopping the fight at 2:57 of the eighth after the ringside physician determined a cut on Kennedy’s eyelid was too severe to allow him to continue.
WBA number nine welterweight Nursultan Zhangabayev 8-0 (5) outpointed Steve Gago 11-1 (4) after 10 frames despite being docked three points for low blows.
The point deductions made the judges’ scorecards of 96-91 and 95-92 twice look much closer than they otherwise would have been.
Junior middleweight Michael Pengue 5-1 (4) scored a fourth-round TKO over Isaac Buckley 6-3-1 (2) in a scheduled eight-round bout.
At middleweight AFLW star Tayla Harris 5-0-1 (1) stopped debutant Renee Gartner 0-1 at 1:53 of the second round of their five-round contest.