MINNEAPOLIS – Terrell Gausha vowed to present Tim Tszyu with a look he hadn’t seen before as a pro.
The 2012 U.S. Olympian and former title challenger made good on that promise, though just not to the point of closing the show.
Cleveland’s Gausha nearly spoiled the U.S. debut of Australia’s Tszyu (21-0, 15KOs), flooring the second-generation boxer in the opening round and jumping out to an early lead in their Showtime-televised main event from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tszyu overcame the early scare to win by scores of 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111 in their entertaining twelve-round junior middleweight battle that managed to breathe new life into Gausha’s career—even in realizing he let one get away.
“I had him in trouble after that first knockdown, but I got a little too excited,” Gausha confessed to BoxingScene.com after a valiant-in-defeat effort. “I trained hard and poured my heart out with it. I hate losing but I went out like a champion.”
The fight was the first for Gausha (22-3-1, 11KOs) since a second-round knockout of Jamontay Clark last February in Uncasville, Connecticut. The bounce back win for Gausha came five months after dropping a competitive but clear decision to current top junior middleweight contender Erickson Lubin in September 2020.
Prior to the Lubin fight, Gausha was out of the ring for 16 months following a disputed ten-round draw with former junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout. Most observers thought Gausha deserved the nod in their May 2019 encounter, though the fight sorely lacked entertainment value to where the decision wasn’t met with much outrage.
Gausha has turned things around since the pandemic, though with just one win in more than three years to show for his efforts. The loss to Tszyu will likely do more for his career than any performance in recent years, as the fight kept viewers engaged throughout the night and also showed signs of what the 34-year-old is still capable of, even as a divisional trialhorse.
“I take my hat off to [Tszyu],” noted Gausha. “He came prepared. I was ready for twelve hard rounds, too. He just pressed the action. That’s what he do. I knew he was going to come like that and we trained hard for that.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox