The number of rounds and a rematch clause at the two sticking points in negotiations between former WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn 20-2-1 (13) and rising star Tim Tszyu 15-0 (11).
Horn, 31, reversed his loss to Michael Zerafa with a 10-round points win in Brisbane in December while Tszyu rolled through Jack Brubaker in four rounds in Sydney during the same month.
The 25-year-old son of former undisputed junior welterweight champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu appears to be on the fast-track to success after stepping up his competition last year, but Horn represents another level compared to his previous opposition.
Horn’s promoter Dean Lonergan and Tszyu’s promoter Matt Rose continued their negotiations on Friday after previously agreeing to a 60-40 purse split in favour of the former world champion, but both camps are refusing to budge on two key issues.
The Horn team want a 10-round fight and the opportunity for a rematch if they lose, while the Tszyu crew are insisting on a 12-round bout and a single bout contract.
“The fight now hangs in the balance,” Lonergan said to The Weekend Australian about the bout that is expected to take place in April.
“The Horn camp won’t do an agreement without a rematch clause. Matt Rose was very aggressive on this point, but he’s got to realise raising his voice and carrying on like a pork chop is not going to change our position.
“If Tim Tszyu wants this fight his team will need to concede on this point. Horn is on the A-side and will dictate terms.
“They were smart enough to concede they were only a 40 percent of the equation and we were very generous in letting them have that much.
“Tim Tszyu and team should look at the rematch clause as a compliment. It says we are taking them seriously and the fact we won’t back away from it tells him we know this is a real fight.
“The ball is now in their camp as to whether they want the fight or not.”
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