By Sean Jones: Jeff Horn 153.4 (69.6kg) vs. Tim Tszyu 152.3 (69.1kg): 154-pound contenders Jeff Horn and Tim Tszyu will be battling on August 26 at the North Queensland Stadium in Townsville, Australia. The Horn-Tszyu will take place in front of a live crowd of potentially 16,000 at the event.
The former WBO welterweight champion Horn (20-2-1, 13 KOs) will have a considerable advantage in experience both in the amateur and pro ranks over the 25-year-old Tszyu (15-0, 11 KOs).
On paper, Horn looks to be the better fighter than #6 IBF, #9 WBO, #12 WBC Tszyu. Horn fought in the 2012 Olympics, and he’s got a lot of skills.
Horn with a lot more experience than Tszyu
As a pro, Horn defeated Manny Pacquiao in 2017 by a 12 round decision. He also has wins over these fighters:
- Randall Bailey
- Anthony Mundine
- Ali Funeka
- Naoufel Ben Rabeh
- Viktor Plotnikov
- Ahmed El Mousaoui
- Gary Corcoran
- Michael Zerafa
Those are all good fighters, and Horn dealt with them well. It’s a little surprising that Tszyu’s handlers want to put him in with a seasoned pro like Horn without stepping him up against some lower-ranked contenders at 154. Tszyu has fought no one that compares to Horn talent-wise during his four-year pro career, and he could be asking for trouble.
#5 WBO Horn is coming off of a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision win over middleweight Michael Zerafa last December in Brisbane, Australia. Horn had previously lost to the hard-hitting Zerafa by a 9th round knockout in their first fight in August 2019.
Horn didn’t look at all prepared mentally for what he was going to be dealing with against Zerafa on the night, and he paid for it. In the rematch, Horn utilized his superior boxing skills and won easily.
Tim Tszyu is the son of former boxing great Kostya Tszyu, who held the IBF/WBA/WBC light welterweight titles during his 13-year pro career. Kostya suddenly retired after losing to Ricky Hatton in 2005, even though he still had a lot left in the tank.
Tim not a puncher like his dad Kostya
There’s a big difference between Tim and his famous father Kostya in terms of power, speed, and size. Kostya, 5’7″, was shorter than the 5’8 1/2″ Tim Tszyu, and he was a bigger puncher and a lot more explosive.
Also, Kostya had more hand speed. Tim does hit hard, but he’s not a massive puncher for the 154-pound weight class. If Tim moved down to 147, his power might be a little more pronounced in that weight class, but it’s unclear whether he could drop the weight without draining himself.
Kostya had the benefit of a great amateur career in the Soviet Union that helped him. Tim didn’t have the same luxury. But even if he did, it wouldn’t make him the kind of puncher his father Kostya was during his career.
“I’m really excited for this fight. My Dad fought in front of packed Townsville Stadium. I hope to put on a great show for everyone,” said Tszyu to fightnews.com.
Kostya fought in Townsville back in 1997 when he wiped out Ismael Armando Chaves in three rounds. It’s going to be a lot harder for Tim to duplicate his father’s fete by stopping Horn early.
Horn will be hard to beat
There’s a good chance that Horn winds out-boxing Tim, and takes him to school. There’s too big of a gulf between the two fighters in terms of experience and pedigree. Horn is an incredibly talented fighter, who was blessed with a lot of ability. He’s been through the grind from his days in the amateur ranks.
As a pro, Horn has lost twice in losing to Terence Crawford and Zerafa. Crawford is the only guy that Horn has faced that was better than him. Although Horn lost to Zerafa in the first fight, that was because he fought a poor fight by electing to slug with the bigger fighter at middleweight.
In the rematch, Horn showed that he was the far superior boxer by winning a one-sided decision.
Tszyu will have a puncher’s chance against Horn, but that’s about it. He’s not going to be able to outbox Horn, and it would be foolish for him to try.
“They’re very cocky. They show that by the way they walk around. I’m here to do my job and that’s to win this fight on the 26th of August,” said Jeff Horn at the press conference in announcing his fight with Tszyu.
Jeff Horn surprised at being the underdog
“I feel like there’s got to be some professionalism in the sport, and dressing well for the occasion, I feel is just a part of it. If he comes in a tracksuit, then I guess that’s up to him. It’s a weird one for me. Look, Tim only got this far because of his last name.
“If he was Tim Smith, he wouldn’t be getting this far because I’d be looking at bigger and better things. The Tszyu name is red hot. His far is an absolute legend, and that’s exactly why this fight is happening.
“I don’t think he’ll get much because my style is so out there, I’ll change things left, right and center. I feel like I’m in the best shape ever. This fight is going to happen, and I do not plan on losing. I’m shocked at the odds.
“I can’t believe I’m that much of an underdog for this fight. But I love being an underdog. It makes me fight to that next level. All these things are in the mix to have me get my biggest victories, and this is going to be one of them. I think this one is a bit of a blowout.
“We should definitely be favorite for this one for what I’ve done in the past, and I’ll just have to prove that on the night. It’s great for everyone to have an event like this of this caliber to be up and running again.
“And 16,000 is absolutely great to have a crowd of people watching. Who knows? We could have even more than that, and it would be absolutely fantastic as well. It’s just great to get everything going again. I think everything should be balanced, and I have the right amount of boxing in my life. Yes, it is very, very important, but it is not my life. I feel like my family is my life.
“He hasn’t got that as of yet, so I understand why he’s obsessed with boxing. But I guess I’ve been there and done that, and I still know what it takes to get that victory. I know what I’m fighting for. I’m fighting for my family, my kids, my wife, and that gives you so much motivation. You have no idea what kind of motivation that gives you to win,” said Horn.