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‘You lost sir’: Boxing king’s brutal reality check for Tszyu amid career nightmare

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Tim Tszyu’s career is at a crossroads after suffering his first professional loss to Sebastian Fundora in his Las Vegas debut.

Tszyu started the fight well but was blinded by his own blood when a wayward elbow from Fundora opened a nasty cut high on his forehead in the second round.

The Australian was severely hampered by the gushing wound, but showed courage throughout the fight.

The boxing world was stunned by the bloodshed, with many saying the fight should have been stopped as soon as it became clear how deep his cut was.

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Tszyu had the better of the first two rounds, but the rest of the fight was too close to decide – the judges awarded Fundora the victory by split decision (116-112, 115-113, 112-116).

The devastating loss is the first stain on Tszyu’s previously perfect record, which now stands at 24-1 (17 KOs).

Had he won, Tszyu would have targeted boxing’s biggest names, including Errol Spence Jr and pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford.

Interestingly, he called Spence and Crawford to the ring after the fight and didn’t seem desperate to have a rematch with Fundora.

“We will bounce back. I showed up, I always show up no matter what,” Tszyu said of the late-announced world title blockbuster.

“I was given a week, no excuses.

“I will fight anyone at any time. Errol Spence is here. Even Terence Crawford, I will fight him.

“I want to fight the best, I want the mega fights to happen,” Tszyu said in his post-fight press conference.

“I still chase them and I still think I’m at the top of the tree.”

Fundora will no doubt be looking at a big fight with Crawford or Spence, who entered the ring and said he would be willing to fight Fundora.

Asked about Spence’s willingness to fight Fundora, Tszyu replied: “Interesting. I would also like to fight Errol Spence, let me know if you want to do that.

Longtime welterweight champion and pound-for-pound king of boxing Crawford had a brutal reality check for Tszyu after the loss.

“You lost sir, you have to work to get back up,” Crawford tweeted.

There is also confusion over what happens next as it was reported that there was a rematch clause in the contract if Tszyu lost, while Boxing Scene reported that Fundora was not contractually obligated to back out if he lost.

Rose told Fox Sports after the fight that Fundora’s camp said they would not go to a rematch and that Tszyu may have to fight at least once before a rematch.

“I believe the promoter has to maximize the interest of the fighter…we have to take care of business first,” Fundora manager Sampson Lewkowicz said.

Tszyu’s promoter, No Limit boss George Rose, said: “I would love to see Tim take this and win these belts immediately.

“I’m happy a rematch is happening next and good luck trying to get through it.”

Tszyu, 29, was forced to take a long road to world title fights after Jermell Charlo withdrew from a unification fight – choosing instead to make life-changing money and lose against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

But Tszyu may soon learn that losses can be deadly on a fighter’s path to title fights and stardom.

Floyd Mayweather has never lost in his career, Alvarez has only lost twice in 64 fights and heavyweight legend Tyson Fury remains undefeated in 35 fights.

While it is of course possible for Tszyu to come back from a defeat, defeats can be seriously detrimental to a boxer’s career and power.

The Courier Mail’s Peter Badel said of the Main Event coverage: “I think a fit, bloodless Tim Tszyu can still win this fight.”

“He can win a rematch. He has the power. If he’s just more tactically astute in a rematch, he can get revenge.

“Tim Tszyu can rebuild from this. He didn’t finish. He can fight back.

The politics of boxing could mean that if Tszyu doesn’t have a rematch with Fundora, he could find himself fighting his original opponent Keith Thurman or other lesser players – when victory would have allowed him to win tens of millions thanks to fights against Spence and Crawford.

News Corp reports that a rematch clause means Tszyu vs Fundora 2.0 could take place in Australia later this year in the form of a show at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium or Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

Tszyu’s No Limit promoter George Rose told the Bloke In A Bar podcast before the fight that he never considered the possibility of Tszyu losing when he stepped into the ring.

“My only mentality is that I never consider Tim Tszyu a loser, so I never think about this alternative world scenario.

“I believe Tim wins every day of the week, he beats everyone who gets in the ring with him.”

Now that it’s happened, Rose and his team will need to make sure it’s one step back, two steps forward for Tszyu, and that he doesn’t enter the boxing wilderness.

Tszyu’s first career loss will also give No Limit pause to think about whether it was the right choice to fight Fundora on such short notice after Thurman’s withdrawal.

“He’s an absolute curse because he’s the bogeyman of the division,” Rose said of Fundora when Tszyu accepted the fight.

“It’s such a difficult fight to prepare for.

“Conversations turn to: ‘How the hell do I land one on Fundora?’

“He’s literally a guy you need a 12-week camp for.”

It was a brutal weekend for Australian boxing with three Australians losing world title fights.

Liam Wilson was stopped by Oscar Valdez in Arizona and Michael Zerafa was demolished in the second round by Erislandy Lara on the Tszyu undercard.

Read related topics:Tim Tszyu

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