Tim Tszyu’s next fight is a huge risk not only to himself but his promoters, who stand to lose $1 million as a result of it being relocated from the Gold Coast to Sydney.
Tszyu has a guaranteed shot at a world title after the WBO ruled he is the mandatory challenger for the super welterweight belt current held by Brian Castano. But rather than sit back and wait for his chance at a world title, Tszyu will put his unbeaten record at risk against Japan’s Takeshi Inou at Qudos Bank Arena on November 17.
Tim Tszyu is risking a world title shot in his next fight.Credit:Getty
Inou, ranked seventh in the world by the WBO, has lost only one of his 19 fights and presents a significant step up in class from Tszyu’s previous opponents. Their clash was originally scheduled to take place in Queensland, but Tszyu would have been required to quarantine for up to 30 days in total either side of the fight, making the original plan a logistical nightmare.
Relocating the fight has also come at a huge financial cost, as the NSW government isn’t stumping up the money that their Queensland counterparts had tabled to earn the hosting rights. Given the Qudos capacity has been reduced to 75 per cent, and that the Gold Coast Convention Centre was tracking for a sellout, the venue shift is expected to leave promoters No Limit short a seven-figure amount.
“It does hurt, definitely,” said No Limit CEO George Rose. “That’s the risk that we have to take as promoters, sometimes events don’t go to plan.
“We’ve had it happen in previous fights where we’ve had to be agile and had to adapt. The fact we’ve put five events on during this COVID period, it shows we’re able to adapt to what has been thrown at us.
“The exciting upside of that is we’re here in Sydney, it’s Timmy’s home town and it’s a great venue to hold the fight at. For us, it’s always been a dream to be here at Qudos Bank Arena.
“The disappointment of what’s happened in Queensland, it’s relieved by the fact we can put on an event here for people aching to see live sport.”
Tszyu, who aims to follow in the footsteps of father and multiple world champion Kostya, predicts Inoue won’t go the distance.
“Takeshi is going to be a tough opponent,” Tszyu said. “I’m predicting I’m going to get rid of this bloke in six rounds. I’ve been training super hard, I’m [showing] no mercy. This is make it or break it, kill or be killed. I’m taking it all. All for the Sydney fans
“Look, everyone loves knockouts. Everyone loves stoppages. Everyone likes brutal one-on-one fighting. That’s what I’m going to bring. I’m not going to tip-tap, I’m not going to touch and go around, I’m going in for the kill. I’m going to put on a performance that people are going to talk about for a long time.”
The 26-year-old said this could be his last fight before going overseas to chase world titles.
“No risk, no reward,” Tszyu said. “I get to fight in front of my fans, I get to fight in front of everyone in Australia again. This could be my last fight here in Australia, who knows?
“We have such big aspirations and goals that it could take us overseas for the next fight. I’ve been pushing for that because I want to be up there at the top level.
“I’m just looking forward to taking this Japanese bloke out and taking the world title next.”
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