Home Boxing News Tim Tszyu challenges doubters to put their money where their mouth is

Tim Tszyu challenges doubters to put their money where their mouth is

Tim Tszyu. Photo credit: No Limit Boxing

WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu 24-0 (17) might be undefeated, but there are still critics who think that he will come undone in his 155-pound non-title fight against former WBC and WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman 30-1 (22) when they meet at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 30.

You can count Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe amongst those who think that the 35-year-old Thurman – who will be moving up eight pounds in weight and will be boxing for just the fourth time in the previous seven years when he step foot in the ring – will spring the upset.

“I was shocked,” Ellerbe said this week. “They have Tszyu an eight-to-one favourite? Are they crazy? Keith Thurman is a live dog in this fight. I’m picking him to win.

“Tszyu is a good fighter, but he ain’t nothing like that. The guy is not unbeatable. He’s not unhittable.

“I’ve seen him on the canvas. [Terrell] Gausha dropped him.”

Former world champion turned pundit is on the Thurman bandwagon too.

“He’s not the smaller fighter and on fight night, he’s going to be just as big as Tim Tszyu,” Porter said to ProBox TV earlier this month.

“In this fight, Tim Tszyu has the perfect style for Keith Thurman. If you look at the last two fights [Thurman] had in the last couple of years, those opponents [W UD12 Mario Barrios in 2022, L SD12 Manny Pacquiao in 2019] didn’t have the perfect style for him, which is why the fights ended up looking the way they looked.

“Tim Tszyu is going to do one of two things. He’s either going to wait on the perfect shot. If he’s not waiting on that perfect shot, he’s walking directly towards you.

“Either way, Keith is going to bounce around the ring and pull whatever patience Tim thinks he has at this point of his career, he’s going to pull that all out of him and force him to walk into shots.

“Keith at 154-pounds, I think he’ll have the power that he had once upon a time years ago. I think we’re going to see a version of Keith that we haven’t seen since he was in the ring with me.

“Keith Thurman is going to defeat Tim Tszyu on March 30th on Prime.”

But Tszyu is used to proving people wrong.

“Beautiful,” Tszyu said to Fox Sports Australia when told of those people backing him to lose. “Just be sure to put your money where your mouth is.”

He added: “But I also think it’s great to have all sorts of opinions on this fight. When people have questions, that’s how you build a fight.

“I remember even when Floyd [Mayweather] was fighting Manny Pacquiao after however many straight wins, there were still questions.

“And it’s because no matter what you achieve, the critics will always be there.

“So Leonard Ellerbe, Shawn Porter, others backing Thurman… I like it.”