Tim Tszyu faces Takeshi Inoue on November 17th in stay-busy fight
By Huck Allen: #1 WBO junior middleweight contender Tim Tszyu will be putting his mandated title shot on the line when he faces #7, Takeshi Inoue, on November 17th in a stay-busy type of match-up. The Tszyu vs. Inou fight venue will be named later, but it’s likely to take place in Australia.
Inoue believes he was selected as the opponent for Tszyu because they view him as an easy mark. But he says going to make them sorry for their decision to pick him.
‘Soul Taker’ Tszyu (19-0, 15 KOs) is in the position where he’s waiting to face the winner of the Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano rematch.
But rather than sit and wait on the sidelines to face the winner of that fight, the 26-year-old Tszyu will be taking on former junior middleweight world title challenger Inoue (17-1-1, 10 KOs) in November.
If #1 WBO Tszyu loses to Inoue, he can forget about fighting the Charlo vs. Castano 2 fight winner. That would be a big disappointment for Tszyu, but if he can’t deal with the 31-year-old Inoue, he doesn’t belong inside the same ring as Charlo or Castano.
On paper, Tszyu will be too much for Inoue, who looked poor in his lopsided 12 round unanimous decision loss to former WBO 154-lb champion Jaime Munguia in January 2019. Munguia beat Inoue easily by 119-109, 120-108, and 120-108.
The only positive thing about Inoue from watching that fight is that he showed a good chin in absorbing a lot of punishment from the hard-punching Munguia through the 12 round fight.
Since then, Inoue has won his last four fights, albeit against weak opposition. That’s the problem with Inoue, and he’s never fought anyone of note other than Munguia, and that didn’t turn out well for him.
Apart from that fight, Inoue has feasted on obscure opposition since turning pro in 2014. In Inoue’s first professional fight, he fought to a six round draw against Daishi Nagata.
The World Boxing organization must see something in Inoue for them to give him a #7 ranking because he’s not been fighting world-class opposition other than Munguia, and wins have come against lesser fighters from top to bottom on his resume.
“Probably because among all the world-ranked boxers, they consider me a low-risk opponent. I believe they will regret it,” said Inoue to Fox Sports about Tszyu.
“I think we’ll start off exchanging jabs, then slug it out on the inside. In the later rounds, I’ll break his heart and win.”
Inoue will need to wear Tszyu down to win this fight, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can take his power. Munguia wasn’t able to dent Inoue’s chin two years ago in their fight in 2019.
It’s unclear if Tszyu hits any harder than Munguia, but he’ll have to if he wants to score a knockout of Inoue.
Tszyu’s management had been in negotiations to fight against former WBC junior middleweight champion Tony Harrison, but the former champ opted not to take the fight.
That would have been a much better test for Tszyu than Inoue, as Harrison is still in his prime, beating Jermell Charlo in their first fight in 2018.
Other fighters that Tszyu’s management was looking at signing for his November 17th:
- Sebastian Fundora
- Sergio Garcia
- Terrell Gausha
Fundora would have been an ideal opponent for Tszyu, but unfortunately, that fight didn’t get made, leaving the Australian with the 31-year-old Inoue.
“Takeshi Inoue he’s an absolute warrior,” said fight promoter from No Limit, George Rose. “He’s someone who’s going to try and bring it to Tim. Tim’s the No.1 challenger, he’s the mandatory challenger in the WBO, and everyone wants a piece of that.”
Ideally, Tszyu wanted to challenge WBO 154-lb champion Castano next, but the Argentinian fighter plans on resting for the remainder of the year. With many months of waiting around, Tszyu chooses to stay busy by taking on the durable Inoue.
“It’s going to be a tough fight, and I think it’s going to be the hardest fight of my career. Definitely the toughest opponent of my career,” said Tszyu about his fight with Inoue.
- Tim Tszyu officially named WBO mandatory to Brian Castano
- Castano not interested in Tszyu fight, wants Jermell rematch
- Charlo vs. Castano 2: It’s better for fans if they take their mandatories before rematch
- Brian Castano confident he’ll beat Tim Tszyu