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Tim Tszyu closing in on world title shot against Patrick Teixeira, decision expected this week

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBO number two ranked junior middleweight Tim Tszyu 16-0 (12) could face WBO 154-pound champion Patrick Teixeira 31-1 (22) in Australia before the end of the year.

The 25-year-old hotshot is coming off an eighth-round drubbing of Jeff Horn 20-3-1 (13) in Townsville last month. The fight is believed to have drawn a crowd of 16,000 people with social distancing measures in place.

Tszyu had Horn on the canvas twice, in the third and sixth rounds, before the former WBO welterweight champion retired on his stool at the end of the eighth.

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“All parties are very interested in making this fight happen,” Tszyu’s promoter Matt Rose of No Limit Boxing told Fox Sports.

“Teixeira’s promoters [Golden Boy Promotions] want to see him back in the ring defending his belt as soon as possible and the WBO is obviously in the business of keeping their champions active.

“There’s a few hurdles to get over but it’s looking good and it could all happen very quickly, plus it helps that the world just saw a big crowd at our event in Townsville.”

Brazilian southpaw Teixeira, 29, was last in action in November when he scored a close 12-round unanimous decision over Carlos Adames in Las Vegas to claim the interim WBO belt.

He was elevated to full champion when Jaime Munguia decided to move up in weight.

Teixeira was expected to face WBO leading contender Brian Carlos Castano 16-0-1 (12) of Argentina in his first title defence before the global coronavirus pandemic hit.

With both South America and the US still in the grip of the pandemic, that fight is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

“Ultimately we have asked the WBO to grant the champion (Teixeira) a voluntary defence given that it looks increasingly unlikely he’ll be able to fight his mandatory before the end of the year,” Rose said.

“Australia is a very enticing prospect for everybody involved as unlike the US, Brazil or Argentina we can have crowds at boxing events right now and the restrictions on crowd numbers are being eased.”

A decision from the WBO is expected on Thursday.

“We have a lot of interest from Sydney, Queensland and Perth about hosting what would be a once in a lifetime event,” said No Limit Boxing CEO George Rose.

“If we can get the fight done then we will work with the governments to ensure we can safely get Teixeira into the country.”

Tszyu is the son of former undisputed junior welterweight champion and Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu.

After turning pro lest than four years ago he has kept up a busy schedule, fighting seven times in his first 12 months as a pro and four times apiece in 2018 and 2019.

The Horn fight came after his longest layoff in boxing, a full eight months after his knockout win over Jack Brubaker last December.

Teixeira is an 11-year veteran in the punch-for-pay ranks. In 2016 he suffered his lone professional loss when he was knocked out in two by Curtis Stevens at middleweight. He entered the bout with a record of 26-0 with 23 knockouts.

In the four years since Teixeira has gone 5-0 without a stoppage win.

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