Jeff Horn 20-3-1 (13) is being advised to retire following his eighth-round stoppage loss to Tim Tszyu 16-0 (13) at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, Australia on Saturday night.
The 32-year-old former Brisbane schoolteacher was on the wrong end on a systemic beatdown, getting beaten to the punch on the outside and outmuscled on the inside.
Horn found himself on the deck in the third courtesy of a brutal left uppercut but he bravely beat the count and clinched his way out of trouble.
Sydneysider Tszyu, 25, invested heavily in the body, digging in the left rip at every opportunity. Horn was fighting on fume from the mid-rounds on.
The carnage continued through the eighth round when referee Phil Austin wisely halted the contest with Horn on his stool.
It was a breakout win for Tszyu, while Horn must now question whether he wants to continue in the game.
“I don’t ever want to see him in a boxing ring again,” former super featherweight world champion and fight commentator Barry Michael said post-fight on Main Event.
“He’s done Australia proud. He’s achieved some amazing things… but it’s time, it’s enough. It’s finished.”
Horn was reportedly in the best physical and mental shape of his career, but it looked like al the wars had caught up with him.
“He was outboxing me out there,” Horn said of Tszyu. “And I guess he’s got that young blood; not that I’m old. I’m not going to say that I’m old. Everyone is saying that I’m old, but I’m not.
“Tim’s got that hunger about him. I’ve been there, done that.”
The fight was Horn’s third loss in his last five fights, all of which have come by knockout.
Horn admitted retirement talks await him.
“I´ll go home and talk to (wife) Jo but I know what she´s going to say,” he said. “In the end, I have to ask if I have more in the tank or is that it.
“I probably don´t have the hunger of Tim Tszyu. I´ve been there, done the world title, I was just fighting for the big fights and the mountain was too big for me tonight.”
After being crowned the winner, Tszyu said he wanted to create his own legacy independent of his famous father Kostya Tszyu.
“I want everyone to know, my name’s Tim, not the son,” he said.
Tszyu dipped his lid to former Horn after the fight, crediting the former WBO welterweight champion with igniting interest in the sport in Australia with he career-defining unanimous decision win over Manny Pacquiao three years ago.
“Jeff has raised the flag for Australia,” he said. “He’s the man that ignited the sport here… It was an honour to share the ring with Jeff. All my respect to you, Jeff.”
Tszyu will now be looking overseas to continue his career and there is plenty of interest from major promotional outfits Matchroom Boxing and Top Rank.
Earlier this week Top Rank chairman Bob Arum praised Tszyu’s pedigree.
“If Tim Tszyu was a racehorse, you’d have to give him a lot of points,” Arum told ABC Grandstand.
“His father, who I’m very familiar with, was one of the great fighters I had the privilege to promote and to watch. And if Tim Tszyu is anything like his father, he’s going to be a tough guy to beat.
“I think we can arrange for him to come over to the States and we can advance him up the ranks so he can fight for a world title. Similar to what we’re doing for these Moloney [Jason and Andrew] kids.”