Home Boxing News Poor corner strategy cost Tim Tszyu his title, says Chris Algieri

Poor corner strategy cost Tim Tszyu his title, says Chris Algieri

Sebastian Fundora (right) lands a jab on Tim Tszyu

The corner of former WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu 24-1 (17) missed a critical opportunity in their fight against Sebastian Fundora 21-1-1 (13) to ensure they left the ring with their world championship belt.

That’s the view of retired former world champion turned pundit Chris Algieri.

Boxing in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena for the first time, Australia’s Tszyu, 28, controlled the action for the first two rounds on Saturday night before running headlong into a Fundora elbow. That collision opened up a nasty cut on his scalp that wouldn’t stop bleeding for the rest of the fight.

Tszyu fought valiantly despite the blood obscuring his vision, eventually losing a split decision to the 26-year-old six-foot-six southpaw from California.

The result could’ve been very different if Tszyu’s corner applied a different strategy, says Algieri.

“He was fighting, he was willing to fight, Tszyu wanted to keep going, there was no quit in him at all, he showed he was a warrior, fighting through, but was that the right move?” Algieri told ProBox TV. “In my eyes, no. I think his team should have stepped in, gotten that fight stopped.

“He came out on fire. First two rounds, looked fantastic. He gets cut at the end of the second round, very, very bad cut. We need the fight to go two more rounds so it can become ‘official’ [instead of a ‘no contest’] and it will go to a scorecard if it does get stopped due to an illegal blow, because it was an accidental illegal blow.

“Now his eyesight is hindered, rounds three and four, pretty close, hard to tell who is actually winning those rounds. But if you stop that fight at the end of round four, his corner steps in and says, ‘hey, our guy can’t see, this is too much’, they will stop the fight. You say you can’t see, they will stop the fight.

“Worst-case scenario, Tim Tszyu comes out with a draw and retains his title. You put in four rounds, you got a bad cut, but at least you’ve got your title – you can protect your title, or you might have won both titles.”

There is talk of Fundora facing Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr 28-1 (22) in his next bout, even though the WBO had mandated the new champion to face Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 40-0 (31) first-up.

One line of thinking is that Fundora will give up his WBO strap and hold onto the WBC belt, a vacant title that he also won against Tszyu.

“I think Spence and Fundora is going to be a fun fight,” Algieri continued. “I think it’s two guys who like to fight on the inside, two guys who are big and strong for the weight class, two guys who like to trade shots and there are things that I saw, even in the Tszyu fight, that I could see Errol Spence being able to capitalise on.

“Fundora likes to fight on the inside but there are openings, there are opportunities for Tszyu to let his hands go, but he didn’t take. Errol will take those opportunities. I think it is a good fight. It just depends how much Errol has left.”