Hogan found out that confidence can only take you so far against ever improving Tim Tszyu.
WBO number one ranked junior middleweight Tim Tszyu 18-0 (14) consolidated his claims to a world title shot with a fifth-round stoppage of former world title challenger Dennis ‘Hurricane’ Hogan 28-4-1 (7) at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre in Newcastle, Australia on Wednesday night.
Brisbane-based Irishman Hogan, 36, boxed well on the outside for the first two rounds but the ever-stalking Tszyu began catch up with him in the third.
The body work from Tszyu became the difference in the fight with the 26-year-old Sydneysider viciously and relentlessly attacking the midsection of his older opponent to set up right hands over the top.
A left rip visibly hurt Hogan in the fourth round and it seemed just a matter of time before Tszyu would close the show.
In the fifth round after a brutal left uppercut from Tszyu almost decapitated Hogan and sent him crashing to the canvas. Although he beat the count, the writing was on the wall. Tszyu jumped on Hogan and continued his assault until trainer Stephen Edwards wisely threw in the towel at the 2:29 mark.
“I knew I was going to take him to the deeper rounds and make him sink. It was only round five, there was more to go,” said Tszyu, who suffered a nasty cut over his left eye early in the bout.
“This is not tip-tap, we’re not ballerinas here dancing around. We’re punching each other.
“I’m going to do some serious damage and hurt my opponents. In the ring this is my kingdom, this is where I take control.
“I could see it from round two. I was warming up only. I could have gone seven more rounds at this pace or more.”
Tszyu admitted there was still room for improvement.
“In round one I was a bit too excited, which now comes with experience but in rounds two and three I was able to just slow it down, not rush and be able to pick my shots,” he said.
“Again, I was rushing a bit and I wasn’t 100 per cent happy with my performance.”
It is just the second time that Hogan has been stopped. In December 2019 it took WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo 31-0 (22) seven rounds to turn back his challenge.
“Charlo got rid of Hogan in seven, I did it in five, so my pace was a bit quicker than Charlo’s,” Tszyu said.
“I want an international fight, I want to be recognised globally, I want to be a global boxing star, that’s my goal and it’s always been my goal.
“And I think I need those big names, there’s a few boys that really interest me.”
Tszyu’s famous father Kostya, who unified the junior welterweight division and is inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, watch the fight from Russia.
“I just spoke to him,” Tszyu said. “He was on the channel in Russia because they televised it there, you could tell he was happy.”
Tszyu has designs on the WBO belt held by Brian Castano 17-0-1 (12). A win over the undefeated Argentinean could lead to a unification bout with WBC, WBA and IBF champion Jermell Charlo 34-1 (18).
“I’m not satisfied, I haven’t achieved anything in my eyes yet,” Tszyu said.
“My dad was an undisputed world champion for 10 years, what have I done?
“Again, give me a few years. I’ve got a long way to go, my comparisons and my goals are out of this world and that’s what I’m going to be striving for.”
In the main support bout junior middleweight Wade Ryan 18-9 (6) scored a well-earned 10th round stoppage over Koen Mazoudier 8-2 (4). The Gunnedah southpaw, whose nine losses have mostly come via close decision, took over the fight in the mid-rounds and pummelled the iron-chinned Mazoudier down the stretch.
Classy super featherweight Paul ‘Showtime’ Fleming 27-0-1 (18) stopped Tyson Lantry 8-4 (3) in the seventh round of their 10-round contest when trainer Jamie Pittman throws in the towel.
Former WBC super-middleweight champion Sakio ‘The Scorpion’ Bika 35-7-3 (22) outpointed former IBF middleweight champion Sam ‘King’ Soliman 46-15-1 (19) over eight rounds. The pair had previously split a pair of fights.
Hard-hitting super middleweight Mateo ‘El Tijuanero’ Tapia 13-0 (8) stopped Renold Quinlan 12-8 (8) in the fourth round of their 10-round bout.