Undefeated junior middleweight contender Tim Tszyu 15-0 (11) has labelled Jeff Horn 20-2-1 (13) “average” ahead of their 10-round bout at the Queensland Bank Stadium in Townsville, Australia on August 26.
The fight will have social distancing measures in place allowing for a maximum crowd of 16,000 people.
Horn, 32, famously defeated sure-fire future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision in Brisbane three years ago to claim the WBO welterweight championship.
He lost the belt in his second defence against undefeated American and pound-for-pound level fighter Terence Crawford in 2018.
Tszyu believes the Crawford loss exposed Horn’s limits at the top level.
“There’s a lot of things that separate Jeff, an average world champion professional boxer, from a world-class contender,” Tszyu said to AAP.
“Becoming a world champion is one thing, but staying world champion is another thing.
“He’s reached his highs and he doesn’t have the characteristics to stay as a world champion. I mean, look at what Crawford did to him. I don’t think Horn even won two or three seconds of that fight.
“That just proves the different class. That’s the difference [between me and him]. Once I win a world title, I will stay a champion. I will show the two different classes we’re at right now.”
The 25-year-old Tszyu has been fast-tracked for success despite a limited amateur career.
He says his famous father Kostya Tszyu has laid out the path for him to follow to world championship success.
“I’m proud of what my dad achieved. He’s the greatest boxer in Australian and Russian sports history,” Tszyu continued.
“I do everything that he’s done. There’s a blueprint. If I could do half of what he did, I’m going to be a great in this sport.”
The Horn vs Tszyu fight will be broadcast on Main Event pay-per-view in Australia and carried by ESPN+ in the United States.