Fresh off his Australian title winning effort last month, undefeated junior middleweight contender Tim Tszyu 13-0 (10) is set to take another step up in class when he battles Dwight ‘The Fighting Cowboy’ Ritchie 19-1 (2) at the ICC Exhibition Centre in Sydney, NSW on August 14.
The 24-year-old Tszyu, who is ranked number 14 by both the IBF and the WBA at 154-pounds, claimed the national crown with a 10-round unanimous decision over Joel Camilleri at The Star Casino in Sydney on May 15.
Ritchie, 27, who hails from Shepparton in regional Victoria, also holds a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Camilleri in a fight that took place at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Victoria last August.
In April last year Ritchie scored an eight-round points decision victory over previously undefeated Emmanuel Carlos.
A pro for 10 years, Ritchie’s first four bouts – all victories – were changed to no contests when it was discovered he was competing underaged.
Earlier this year at the press conference to announce the Tszyu vs Camilleri bout, the son of former undisputed junior welterweight champion and International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Kostya Tszyu laid out his hit list of future opponents.
“I’ve got four fights on the horizon,” Tszyu explained at the presser in April. “First Camilleri for the Australian title, then (Dwight) Ritchie, (Michael) Zerafa and (Jeff) Horn.”
Tszyu is adamant that he needs to clean out his own backyard first before heading overseas.
“You’ve got to be number one in Australia, you’ve got to test yourself here,” Tszyu told AAP earlier this year.
“It’s like climbing a mountain, you can’t go straight to the top, you’ve got to walk, run, whatever you’ve got to do, but you’ve got to slowly get up there, that’s the plan.”
Tszyu has already got a head start on his training camp, having just returned from the Philippines where he has been sparring with global superstar Manny Pacquiao ahead of the 40-year-old’s WBA welterweight title challenge against Keith Thurman next month.
The undercard to the blockbuster main event is already taking shape with knockout artists Mateo Tapia 10-0 (6) and Renold Quinlan 12-4 (8) meeting in a 10-round super middleweight bout that is unlikely to go the distance.
Entertaining welterweight ‘Gelignite’ Jack Brubaker 15-2-2 (7) returns against an opponent to be named in another 10-rounder, while Australian Rules Football star Tayla Harris 4-0-1 returns to the ring against debutant Renee Gartner over five two-minute rounds at middleweight.
The entire card will be broadcast live in Australia on Foxtel’s Main Event pay-per-view channel.