Home Boxing News Speed not strength is Tim Tszyu’s greatest asset, says former world champion

Speed not strength is Tim Tszyu’s greatest asset, says former world champion

Tim Tszyu and Tony Harrison. Photo credit: Jonathan Ng

WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu 23-0 (17) is renowned for his strength, if not his power, but a former opponent says this is not his greatest asset.

Former WBC 154-pound champion Tony Harrison thought he had Tszyu all figured out when he flew to Australia to face the undefeated 28-year-old Sydneysider earlier this year.

But the boxer he met in the ring at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney on March 12 was not the one the 33-year-old from Detroit, Michigan was expecting.

“Going into the fight, I was like so confident, like this guy is so basic,” Harrison told ProBox TV.

“My whole training camp was based on power. It was based on me fighting guys who had snappy punches and threw a lot of punches. But when I got in there and got stuck in the mud, I went back to the corner in round one and said, ‘hell, he’s not even strong’.

“What we underestimated is that he’s very reactive and kinda fast. His punches come out very fast.”

Tszyu got the better of Harrison – the only man to defeated former undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo 35-2-1 (19) at 154-pounds – stopping him in the ninth round while leading 77-75 on all three judges’ scorecards.

Three months later tszyu wiped out Mexican champion Carlos Ocampo 35-3 (23) in half a round at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland, the same venue where he will defend the WBO belt against upset specialist Brian ‘La Bala’ Mendoza 22-2 (16) this Sunday afternoon local time.

Tszyu was upgraded from interim to full champion by the WBO when they stripped Charlo of his title for opting to move up two weight classes to challenge undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 60-2-2 (39) last month rather than face his mandatory contender.

Harrison wasn’t happy with the way that played out.

“I hate this sport when they just give away shit,” he said. “I know he really worked his way up, but just don’t give him the title. Make us earn this shit.”

Harrison offered these words of advice to Mendoza.

“If Brian Mendoza is hearing this, spar guys that are faster,” he said. “Don’t spar guys that are stronger, as the power is in his speed. The power is in the shots that you don’t see.”

Albuquerque’s Mendoza, 29, says he has left no stune unturned in his preparation for the fight.

“He’s going to find out on fight night what I bring to the table. It’s an experience, especially since living in Las Vegas, even just my sparring. It’s been levels you wouldn’t believe,” said Mendoza.

“Every day you walk in, a random world champion or Olympian or whatever undefeated prospect is there to spar and work and stuff. So I’m learning every day like crazy.”