Tim Tszyu goes up against Keith Thurman live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, March 31 (AEDT). Going through the ropes in the U.S., Australia’s reigning WBO junior middleweight champion faces former unified welterweight champion, who moves up a weight class.
The fight was originally expected to be Tszyu’s title defence. The 12-round contest is now reportedly set at 155-pound catchweight at middleweight.
At the kickoff press conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday, the fighters previewed their bout, traded barbs over who would come out on victorious and went face to face for the first time.
Undefeated Tim Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) earned a unanimous decision against Brian Mendoza last October in their WBO junior middleweight title clash. The 29-year-old Sydney native is confident in his next fight victory and promised a knockout.”
“It’s an honor to be in this position. You only launch something like this once, and I want to launch it in spectacular fashion.”
“I want him to bring this same energy to the fight, and not run around like a gazelle. Because I’m definitely knocking him out in under 12 rounds.”
“I don’t care about the critics. I’m going to fight whoever I can. I’m John Wick and there’s a list of names that I’m trying to tick off. This is the takeover for me.”
“My goal is for the Tszyu name to be the greatest boxing family that ever lived. We’ve made it this far and we’ll see how far we can go.”
“I know what Keith is and I know what he’s done, but I think the time is done for him. Now it’s a different era and it’s the ‘Tim Tszyu Era’. I’m not just planning to beat Keith Thurman, I’m planning to make this a spectacle.”
“It’s a blessing to be here. It’s been a long time in the process for me. As soon as my fight finished against Brian Mendoza, I needed the next one. It was months in the making and now we’ve got a great opponent in Keith Thurman. I was like a kid getting a present from Santa Claus when they told me this fight was made.”
“I know what I possess and what I’m gonna bring. There aren’t any old-school fighters like me anymore. I’m willing to fight anyone and I do damage when I’m in the ring.”
Keith Thurman: Tim Tszyu is a slow-footed fighter with a Mexican style
Former unified WBC and WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) won his previous bout in February 2022 by unanimous decision against Mario Barrios. The 35-year-old’s sole career defeat goes to July 2019, when he dropped a split decision against Manny Pacquiao.
“It’s been a long time coming. I’m looking forward to continuing my legacy with this fight March 30. Once again I get to kick off a major event. This is what boxing is all about. Action. World Class.”
“[Tim Tszyu] He’s a slow-footed fighter with a Mexican style. I’ll meet him in the middle of the ring. He’s gonna go home crying.”
“They say Tszyu comes from ‘down under’, well I am trying to put you under, mate. He might have watched the video on me, but he doesn’t know. He might have signed the contract, but he doesn’t know what he just did. Bitter for you, but sweet for me!”
“Moving up in weight is just something that happens in boxing. I love the legacy at 147 pounds and I got what I could get out of that division.”
“Every time I step into the ring, I’m living out my American dream. We all know the sacrifices we make, and those sacrifices make us who we are. They’re truly worth it. I’ve done a lot at 147 and I want to do great things at 154 pounds. You put me in the ring, and I’m gonna rise to the top.”
“I’m just looking for great fights and great action. Tim Tszyu is filling that void right now and providing me with the fight I want. He’s trying to open up the gates to his new era, but it’s my job to close the door shut, right in his face.”
“Nobody wants to shut the haters up like Keith Thurman. Get your tickets today and be in the building. It’s very simple, you’re gonna hear one sound only, and that’s boom, boom, boom.”
In the co-feature to Thurman vs Tszyu, Las Vegas’ WBA super lightweight champion Rolando Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) defends his title against Mexican contender Isaac Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs). Also on the card, Cuban WBA middleweight champion Erislandy Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs) defends his belt against Australian Michael Zerafa (31-4, 19 KOs) of Melbourne, Victoria. In the telecast opener, Sebastian Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) of the U.S. and Serhii Bohachuk (23-1, 23 KOs) of Ukraine go head to head at super welterweight.