Unbeaten junior middleweight Tim Tszyu, fighting in the shadow of both his Hall of Fame father and the undisputed champion of his category, utilized his comeback fight against Tony Harrison on Saturday to make a statement.
Tszyu (22-0, 16 KOs) used poise and methodical pressure to gradually wear down Harrison (29-4-1, 21 KOs), capping the biggest victory of his career with a nasty stoppage in the closing seconds. Tszyu won the WBO interim title and a chance to challenge Jermell Charlo for his four world championships after the ninth-round TKO, which took place at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.
Following the bout, Tszyu gave a stirring address to his hometown crowd to put a loud emphasis point on his remark.
I only have one question: What is my motherf—-ing name? said Tszyu. “Every single one of you, this is what this is all about. What the hell is my name? My motherf—-ing name, please!”
Prior to Charlo’s withdrawal due to a left hand injury, the 28-year-old Tszyu was supposed to fight the title in January. Tszyu decided to keep himself occupied by taking on the 32-year-old former WBC champion Harrison, the only person to have defeated Charlo.
Tszyu returned a much more effective and composed fighter than he was in March of last year, when he was dropped in the first round of his U.S. debut against Terrell Gausha before battling back to win a close decision. Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) watched from a New York studio as a special guest on the Showtime Boxing International telecast.
In Round 3, Tszyu’s looping counter right hand knocked Harrison half way across the ring, putting him on the defense for the rest of the fight. Harrison was easily pinned by Tszyu against the ropes, and he held his distance patiently enough to block Harrison from leaving the ring.
Harrison finally started to lose his composure in Round 9 as three big right hands knocked him into the ropes. Before Harrison was knocked down by a devastating right cross, Tszyu charged in and delivered four of the five consecutive right uppercuts that he fired.
At 2:49, the fight was declared over as Harrison got to his feet to beat the count but remained wobbly. Referee Danrex Tapdasan had allowed Harrison to take way too much punishment before the knockdown.
He was remarkable. He performed his duties at home, according to Charlo. He seemed a bit bland to me, but my movements, my style, and my strength will make him act quite differently. Put the tape in when I regain control of my [left] hand and enter the training ring. That’ll function.
“Just this is what we had observed. He advances, though not as quickly. Of course he’s strong, but aren’t we all? Tony and I are different animals in there.”
Tszyu appeared to have controlled the battle for the bulk of the time, but her lead was only 77-75 on all three scorecards when the bout was stopped. According to CompuBox, he outlanded Harrison by a score of 131 to 78 and hit an amazing 45% of his power shots. Harrison’s movement was further slowed down by Tszyu’s 29 to 7 body shot advantage, which significantly decreased Harrison’s mobility.
“I knew a lot. I had to be shrewd since I knew he had a jab “said Tszyu. “The opponent I was facing was the man who defeated the man. However, what does it make me because I just defeated that man?”
Harrison’s jab was effective, but given how close Tszyu was to him, he seemed hesitant to use his right hand. All four of Harrion’s professional losses (four total) have been stopped matches.
Harrison remarked, “I worked really hard to prepare for the battle, but the better man triumphed tonight. “His future holds only greater and better things. I’m not sure what to do next.”
Tszyu agreed when asked if Charlo would be the next opponent after the battle.
The message [to Charlo] was delivered clearly, according to Tszyu. “You are aware of what will happen next. I’m traveling to the US.”