Tim Tszyu faces the toughest test of his career when he takes on Terrell Gausha in a world title eliminator on Sunday (AEDT).
The Australian boxing phenom will trade leather with the two-time Olympian over 12 rounds at The Armory in Minneapolis for a shot at the unified super-welterweight champion – a title that will be decided when Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano rematch on May 14.
1.49pm TSZYU V GAUSHA JUST MOMENTS AWAY
Michel ‘Ali’ Rivera – who is the spitting image of Muhammad Ali – survived a shocking low blow win a unamimous decision over Joseph Adorno.
And it’s time for the main event! Tim Tszyu is just moments away from his US debut.
1pm WHY TSZYU LOSS WOULD BE ULTIMATE EMBARRASSMENT
Tim Tszyu is almost an unbackable favourite to beat Terrell Gausha with betting markets tipping the Aussie to win his US debut.
Tszyu is currently $1.07 on the TAB, his price dropping rapidly in the lead up to the fight.
Gausha, a two-time Olympian with 25 fights, is paying $8 to upset Tszyu despite fighting in his home country.
Tszyu’s short price adds another layer of pressure with several boxing analysts calling for the Aussie to search for the knockout to avoid boxing’s questionable judging.
Should Tszyu fail to walk away with the victory he will face an uphill battle to resurrect his career in the United States.
12.47pm ‘STOP THE FIGHT’: FENECH
Elvis Rodriguez dropped Juan Jose Velasco multiple times on his way to a TKO, with Australian boxing royalty Jeff Fenech calling for the fight to be stopped two rounds before the round 7 stoppage.
At one point Velasco shock his head at the referee while he was on the canvas, implying he didn’t want continue.
But the referee called him up to keep going. Fenech slammed the official while ringside at The Armory.
12.16pm AUSSIE’S BRUTAL VICTORY ON TSZYU CARD
Joe Goodall wants a showdown with Justis Huni in June.
The undefeated Australian heavyweight produced a first round knockout in his American debut against Mathew McKinney with a thunderous body shot, on the non-televised undercard of Tim Tszyu’s showdown against Terrell Gausha.
Goodall and Australian heavyweight champion Huni have been negotiating for a fight for some time.
“Hopefully it’s the Huni fight, they wanted the fight, I don’t understand what the hold-up is,” Goodall said.
“There’s a lot of politics in boxing.
“It’s still in the works, I won’t say they’re ducking me, but they were jumping out to fight me so if they pass on me now it’s pretty obvious.”
Huni’s promoter Dean Lonergan is eager to make the fight happen.
“We are trying to tie down a date with Fox Sports right now, mid to late June is the time frame we are looking at, in Brisbane,” Lonergan said.
Australia’s Joe Goodall has won his fight by first round body shot stoppage at #TszyuGausha
— Ben Damon (@ben_damon) March 26, 2022
“Joe Goodall is the perfect opponent for Justis after he fights Kiki luetele on May 11, which is the co-main feature to Jai Opetaia’s world title fight against Māiris Briedis on the Gold Coast.
“Team Huni very much appreciates Joe Goodall’s willingness to step up and take the fight with Justis, no other Australian heavyweight has shown the balls or willingness to get in the ring with the best Australian heavyweight ever.”
Goodall moves to 8-0-1 (7KO), and this was his sixth first round knockout.
It was also his first fight under famed trainer Kevin Barry, who guided Joseph Parker to the world heavyweight title.
“People don’t realise how powerful Joe is, I’ve had him sparring some of the best, undefeated prospects in the heavyweight division and he has tested them,” Barry said.
“Joe versus Huni is a great, tough fight.
“Huni is the golden boy of Australian heavyweight boxing, everyone is talking about him, and Joe is like the mongrel dog, everyone has forgotten what he achieved in the amateurs when he was Australia’s No.1 amateur.”
Lonergan added: “Joe Goodall did very well today against very limited opposition. When he gets in the ring against Justus Huni he will need to step up many, many levels, however under the guidance of Kevin Barry, Joe will be improving every day, with access to world class sparring in Las Vegas.
“We are expecting a very tough, very close fight from the two best heavyweights in Australia, with both fighters at the peak of their game.
“No other heavyweight in Australia comes close to both the amateur and professional pedigree of both fighters.”
10:45am AUSTRALIA HAS A NEW BOXING CHAMP
By Jamie Pandaram
Australia has a new boxing world champion and a huge new rivalry after Ebanie Bridges claimed the IBF bantamweight title with a 10-round win over Maria Cecilia Roman in Leeds.
Immediately, fellow Australia Shannon “Shotgun” O’Connell demanded Bridges defend the belt against her.
“I feel I deserve the title fight next, I am the No.1 ranked fighter in the IBF bantamweight division but I didn’t get this fight so I should get the next chance,” O’Connell told News Corp Australia.
“That would be a huge fight in Australia.”
Bridges, 35, dominated the judges’ scorecards, prevailing 100-91, 97-93 and 97-93 to win the belt, on the undercard of the Josh Warrington vs Kiko Martinez bout in front of 12,000 fans.
“Firstly, can I just say, can I f***ing fight or what?” Bridges said.
“F*** you guys who think I can’t fight, because I can f***ing fight.
“I can box, I can fight and I can look hot on the scales.”
“Hopefully everyone here loved that fight, that it was entertaining.”
Bridges, who has gained a huge following for her racy weigh-in outfits and charismatic social media posts, now has a record of 8-1 (3KO).
The Sydneysider also recently competed in the SAS Australia television show, and is a former mathematics teacher and bodybuilder.
The 39-year-old O’Connell (22-6-1, 10KO) is on a seven-fight win streak.
Bridges, who has become even more popular in the United Kingdom than her home country, outworked Roman throughout their title clash.
Bridges was the busier of the two in the early stages and while she allowed Roman to unload in the final round she’d built a comfortable lead and had her hand raised by the referee after a tough and exciting war.
“I love that kind of fight, I know they’re not the fights you’re supposed to really have, but I love those kind of fights,” Bridges said.
“They’re entertaining for the fans.
“That’s what I’m about, I’m about entertaining, and for me, that was so fun.
“That was a tough fight. Cecilia is a champion and she brought it, and that was awesome,” Bridges said.
“This belt represents everything: all the heartbreaks, all the sacrifice, all the training, everything. That’s what this belt represents to me.
“I feel extremely happy because it means that everything that I’ve sacrificed and all the work that I’ve put in has been worth it.
“I feel proud of myself, very proud.”
Bridges’ promoter Eddie Hearn said she had numerous options for her title defence including a rematch against England’s Shannon Courtenay, who defeated Bridges in April 2021 for the vacant WBA bantamweight title.
That is the sole loss in Bridges’ career.
Also on the undercard, Australian Olympian Skye Nicolson won her second pro fight easily against Bec Connolly.
Nicolson, who made the quarter-finals at the Tokyo Games and also claimed the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, claimed a unanimous decision victory to move to 2-0.
10am GAUSHA’S SECRET WEAPON
The man who orchestrated one of the greatest upsets in boxing history is preparing a similar blitz on Tim Tszyu.
Manny Robles, who coached Andy Ruiz to knock out Anthony Joshua and become world heavyweight champion in 2019, is in the corner of Tszyu’s opponent, Terrell Gausha.
And the hottest rumour doing the rounds in the United States this week is that Gausha has been smashing his sparring partner, none other than Brian Castano, holder of the WBO super-welterweight title for which Tszyu is No.1 contender.
Robles, the former world trainer of the year, is considered one of the sharpest minds in boxing and believes like 20-1 underdog Ruiz, Gausha will stun the world by defeating heavy betting favourite Tszyu at The Armory in Minneapolis.
“Terrell’s an Olympian (2012), he’s fought the best, if you look at his resume, with all due respect compared to Tim Tszyu’s, you can’t compare them,” Robles said.
“His claim to fame is Jeff Horn, you know what I mean? Enough said.”
Gausha and Robles exuded immense confidence talking to News Corp Australia after Friday’s weigh-in; both fighters came under the 154 pound (69.85kg) super-welterweight limit with Tszyu at 153.4lbs (69.58kg) and Gausha 153.2lbs (69.49kg).
Tim Tszyu will be out to restore the credibility and pride of Australian boxing in the United States today after one of the sport’s most embarrassing nights in which 45-year-old AFL legend Barry Hall collected $600,000 to be knocked out inside two minutes.
Tszyu becomes the first Aussie, yet to win a world title, to headline a U.S. boxing show in front of tens of millions of TV viewers against former Olympian Terrell Gausha, a highly dangerous opponent who has never been stopped.
HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW AHEAD OF THE BLOCKBUSTER BOUT (ALL DATES AND TIMES FOR AUSTRALIA)
TIM TSZYU V TERRELL GAUSHA
– Date: Sunday, March 27
– Time: Coverage starts 11am. Main event (approx.) 3pm
– Where: The Armory, Minneapolis, MN
– What: Super welterweight title eliminator
HOW TO WATCH
– Fight fans can watch the bout live on Kayo.
Tale of the Tape
Date of Birth: November 2, 1994
Total Fights: 20
Record: 20-0 (15 KOs)
Nationality: United States of America
Date of Birth: September 9, 1987
Total Fights: 25
Record: 22-2-1 (11 KOs)
MAIN FIGHT CARD
– Tim Tszyu vs. Terrell Gausha; Super welterweight
– Michel Rivera vs. Joseph Adorno; Lightweight
– Elvis Rodriguez vs. Juan Jose Velasco; Super lightweight
– Joey Spencer vs. Ravshan Hudaynazarov; Middleweight