Australian boxer Tim Tszyu has claimed the WBO interim super welterweight (junior middleweight) title after stopping the former WBC super welterweight champion Tony Harrison in the ninth round of their fight in Sydney.
Tim Tszyu, the son of Hall-of-Famer Kostya Tszyu, landed two right hands on Harrison in the ninth round that hurt him badly and then pounced on him with a series of right uppercuts. Harrison eventually fell to the canvas and while he answered the referee’s count, the bout was stopped at 2:43 of the ninth round.
Tim Tszyu Stop Tony Harrison
Tszyu applied pressure on Harrison throughout the bout, landing the flusher punches and never seeming affected by Harrison’s shots. Judges had Tszyu ahead by a slim margin of 77-75 through eight rounds of action. This win means that Tszyu is the mandatory challenger for fully unified 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo’s WBO belt. Tszyu is expected to challenge Charlo for the IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO titles in his next fight.
Charlo had to postpone his fight with Tim Tszyu after fracturing two bones in his left hand while sparring. Rather than wait for Charlo’s hand to heal, Tszyu’s handlers pushed the WBO to have him fight for its interim championship. Tszyu was supposed to fight Bakhram Murtazaliev, but the Russian turned down the fight, leading Harrison to accept the chance to knock off Tszyu and secure a third fight against Charlo, who had knocked him out in their previous bout.
Harrison accepted his defeat gracefully, acknowledging that Tim Tszyu was the better man on the night. Harrison had upset Charlo by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight for Charlo’s WBC belt in December 2018, but Charlo knocked him out in the 11th round of their rematch in December 2019 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
Tszyu’s victory comes 28 years after his father Kostya Tszyu knocked out Jake Rodriguez to capture his maiden world title, the IBF, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Now, can boxing fans look forward to a blockbuster clash between Jermell Charlo and Tim Tszyu?