Tim Tszyu has destroyed his opponent in one of the most dominant wins of his career after a thrilling, blockbuster fight. Follow the latest.
Tim Tszyu has destroyed Takeshi Inoue to keep his world championship hopes on track.
Tszyu was frustrated at his inability to land a knock-out punch with Inoue earning respect from around the world for still being able to stand at the end of the 12th round of their blockbuster showdown at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena.
The judges handed the fight to Tszyu via a unanimous decision (120-107, 119-108, 120-107) — but even with the staggeringly one-sided scores, Tszyu never really looked like stopping the fght and extending his streak of six-straight wins via TKO.
Instead Inoue proved to be a pillar of granite that made a mockery of Tszyu’s pre-fight prediction of ending the fight inside 12 rounds.
Tszyu said after the fight he was stunned at Inoue’s toughness and believed he had done enough to end the fight — if Inoue had have been any regular fighter.
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But Inoue proved to be made of different fibres than the rest of us he ate the barrage of shots with relative ease despite his face being beaten into a bloody pulp and his mid-section tenderised by an unrelenting storm of body shots.
Inoue’s toughness, in the eyes of some, exposed Tszyu’s one weakness — having the power in his arsenal to stop a fight with a single punch.
It was the show fans wanted to see — and there was some disappointment when Tszyu changed his tactics in the later rounds, almost appearing to have accepted that he could not put Inoue down for good.
Despite improving to a 20-0 record.
The focus quiclkly shifted to his lack of aggression in the later rounds.
“The crowd not happy for this to go the the cards,” Main Event’s Ben Damon said ringside. “They want to see something emphatic.”
Aussie boxing legend Jeff Fenech also noted Tszyu “eased off a lot”, but later praised Tszyu for the clever tactical shift.
Tszyu now turns his attention to his first world title fight against Brian Castano, who holds the WBO’s super welterweight belt.
Castano has repeatedly belittled Tszyu and criticised his record of never fighting overseas.
It emerged in the hours leading into the Inoue fight that Tszyu is potentially on his way to a career-high payday of $2 million if the fight with Castano eventuates.
It remains unclear if Tszyu’s camp can come up with the money needed to tempt Castano to come to Australia — however Tszyu said after the fight he wants to go to Las Vegas to fight Castano in February or March.
Tszyu said he did everything he could, but couldn’t knock Inoue inside the 12 rounds.
“What a great experience, he (Inoue) feels like a brick wall, I don’t think a heavyweight could drop him,” he said.
“Hats off to him, he’s a warrior. I heard him squeal, his face is battered and look at his body. He’s so tough.”
He also called Castano out: “Honestly I think that was the best thing that could have happened, getting a good 12 rounds in before I hit big time.
“I’ll be back in the gym, I gotta be more prepared than that because I need to take these guys out and I need to keep taking them all out one by one. The grind continues.
“You boys finish your little honeymoons and get back in the gym and start training. I’m coming for all of you. Every single one of you.”
Here’s how the fight unfolded
Round by round updates
Round 1 — Tim Tszyu landed a heavy left uppercut that had his opponent briefly stumbling backwards. It has been a slow start from Inoue. Tszyu is continually throwing the uppercut.
“That was the big moment,” Aussie legend Jeff Fenech said.
Round 2 — A slow round. Inoue has started to throw some shots.
Round 3 — Tszyu lands a big right hand jab that gets through. It forces Inoue onto the ropes. Inoue is seen with some swelling around his eyes.
Round 4 — Tim Tszyu keeps landing solid body shots but Inoue has not dropped his guard. Inoue lands a couple uppercuts, but Tszyu’s jabs are starting to get through and Inoue’s face is starting to look bloody. Tszyu has comfortably won every round and should be ahead 40-36 on the judges’ scorecards.
Round 5 — Tszyu has his best round after landing some heavy shots in close. Inoue is tagged while trying to retreat and then wears some heavy body shots when forced onto the ropes.
“He’s really made him pay,” Aussie legend Jeff Fenech said.
Round 6 — Tim Tszyu has taken to Inoue’s body with a series of shots. A left hand jab opened Inoue’s body up and Tszyu proceeded to tenderise his opponent’s mid-section.
Round 7 — Tszyu is continuing to pick his opponent apart. Jeff Fenech says the Aussie is one punch away from ending the fight. Tszyu has won every round and should be ahead 70-63 on the judges’ cards.
Round 8 — Tszyu is demolishing Inoue. Aussie legend Billy Dib calls it “the beginning of the end”.
Round 9 — It’s a miracle Inoue is still standing. He has not looked anywhere near winning a round. Tszyu is comfortable just setting up his uppercut shots, but hasn’t yet been able to knock his opponent down. Tape comes loose from Tszyu’s gloves, forcing a brief break. Inoue is seen with a nasty cut opening on his left cheek.
Round 10 — Tszyu appears to have taken the foot off the pedal, but is still in control. His lack of aggression is noted by Aussie legend Jeff Fenech in commentary for Main Event. The judges should have the scorecards 100-90.
Round 11 — An even round. Inoue has traded blows evenly in the later rounds of the fight and the crowd has gone quiet.
Round 12 — Tszyu scores his first knockdown of the fight when he catches Inoue retreating. Inoue appeared to slip from the force of Tszyu’s right hand hook. Inoue had landed a good left hand that briefly rocks Tszyu off-balance, but the moment is followed by some classy shots from Tszyu. If the punch was landed a knockdown, Tszyu should be ahead 120-109 on the judges’ cards. The judges announce Tszyu has won via a unanimous decision.
‘Big argument’: Inoue playing mind games with official complaint
Takeshi Inoue’s camp has backflipped after his team made an official complaint about the gloves selected by Tim Tszyu.
The two fighters were testing their gloves early on Wednesday night when news emerged that Inoue’s camp was not happy about the gloves Tszyu presented to officials — and the differences to his own gloves.
Main Event’s ringside commentator Ben Damon wrote on Twitter: “Big dramas in the dressing rooms.
“There is a big argument taking place behind the scenes.”
Inoue had agreed to wear Tszyu’s Everlast brand gloves that had Tszyu’s personal branding on them after noting there were differences between his own pair of Winning brand gloves and those Tszyu will use.
He had reportedly agreed to use Tszyu’s second pair.
However, just minutes before he was scheduled to walk to the ring, Inoue confirmed he would be sticking with his original Winning brand gloves because they felt more comfortable and familiar.
He said he was moved to complain about Tszyu’s gloves after claiming his own gloves were thinner than some of the padding found on Tszyu’s gloves.
However, it emerged soon after that Tszyu’s camp was not happy with Inoue’s 11th hour changes of heart.
Journalist Brendan Brandford wrote on Twitter a member of Tszyu’s team said: “They’re just playing mind games”.
Main fight card results
Tim Tszyu vs Takeshi Inoue, 10 rounds, super welterweight – Tszyu’s WBO Global title, WBO Asia Pacific title
Wade Ryan defeated Nath Nwachukwu via unanimous decision (99-90, 100-89, 98-91)
Dennis Hogan defeated Tommy Browne via unanimous decision (60-54 x3)
Koen Mazoudier defeated Joel Camilleri via split decision
Jackson Murray defeated Shant Nercessian via TKO, Round 1
Jacinta Austin defeated Viviana Ruiz Corredor via split decision (39-37, 38-36, 37-39)
Benjamin Hussain defeated Darwin Sagurit via unanimous decision (39-37 x3)
Trent Girdham defeated Alex Lual via unanimous decision (39-36, 39-37, 40-35)
Tszyu’s $2 million gamble exposed
Tim Tszyu’s $2 million world title payday is reportedly in jeopardy as he steps into the ring on Wednesday night.
Tszyu has previously brushed off fears his status as the WBO’s mandatory challenger for Brian Castano’s super welterweight belt would be revoked with a loss to Inoue — and it’s now been revealed the threat is very real, with eye-watering consequences.
The Daily Telegraph first reported Tszyu’s dream title fight with Castano could include a purse of up to $2 million.
That could disappear if he loses to Inoue and is stripped of his No. 1 ranking.
The report details Tszyu will earn $1 million for his fight with Inoue, but he is still taking the biggest gamble of his life.
Tszyu could have waited for his title shot with the Argentine in early 2022 but wants to stay active, saying: “I’ve got things to do, things to achieve, bodies to punch and faces to hurt and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Tszyu act of class everyone nearly missed
Tim Tszyu has put Inoue through a blender this week in their running war of words, but an act of class at Tuesday’s weigh-ins show the real story.
In typical fashion, both fighters have come out and said they will knock the other out, but Tszyu’s comments earlier in the week suggested there was little respect for Inoue from the Tszyu camp.
The 27-year-old even described his opponent as a “small little boy”.
There were more fighting words at the weigh-in, where Tszyu hit the scales at 69.52kg and Inoue registered 69.86kg. The Aussie said the fight “only ends one way” as he threatened his opponent with some serious damage.
“Let him do what he wants. One thing I know is I’m coming for his head, and his body and everything,” Tszyu said.
“I’m coming for him.”
However, just minutes later, Tszyu and Inoue faced off in front of the scales for the final time before they step into the ring.
After the pose for the cameras, Tszyu extended his hand to shake Inoue’s hand in a gesture that appeared to take his opponent by surprise.
The classy act shows why Tszyu has quickly become one of the most popular fighters in the country.
Boxing legend: Tim Tszyu could be better than icon father
Boxing great Jeff Fenech has boldly claimed Tim “could be better” than his legendary father Kostya Tszyu.
“Kostya is maybe a bigger puncher,” Fenech told Wide World of Sports. “They do things very similar. But for me in some things, Tim is every bit as good if not better than his dad. He’s getting better and better.
“He’s got his father’s poise. His patience. That’s something you can’t teach. It’s about having that awareness in the ring. No doubt his father has helped shape the fighter he is but Tim is his own fighter. Plus they look like f***ing twins.
“He knows when he’s in danger and knows what to do get himself out of trouble. Watching his father as a boy would have helped.”