Popular undefeated hometown favorite Tim Tszyu dominated former world champion Tony Harrison with a ninth-round TKO to win the Interim WBO super welterweight title Sunday, before 11,740 rabid pro-Tszyu fans at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia. Showtime televised the fight in the United States.
With the win Tszyu became the mandatory challenger to undisputed super welterweight king Jermell Charlo. At the time of the stoppage, all three judges were in agreement scoring the bout 77-75 in favor of Tszyu after eight completed rounds.
Tszyu (22-0, 16 KOs) – who elected to face the veteran Harrison after Tszyu’s scheduled match with Charlo on January 28 was scratched when Charlo broke his hand in training – simply outboxed and out-performed Detroit’s Harrison (29-4-1, 21 KOs).
“The better man won,” Harrison said. “They’ve done a good job over there. His timing, his reaction is very good. He just beat me, so all I can say is he’s up for Charlo.”
Harrison started quickly, but soon felt Tszyu’s power as Harrison was rocked by an overhand right late in the third round that staggered Harrison, a sequence that was repeated again at the end of the fourth round.
Harrison hit back in the sixth, landing more shots than Tszyu and displaying his defense as Tszyu missed on several swings. It was more of the same in the eighth as Tszyu continued his relentless pressure and started out-landing Harrison. Harrison had had enough in the ninth, finally hitting the canvas but beating the 10-count to continue the battle until the referee ended matters.
The 28-year-old Tszyu, who made his Showtime debut in March 2022 with a win over Terrell Gausha, is the son of International Boxing Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, who competed on Showtime 10 times and had some of his most memorable fights on the network. Kostya Tszyu was unable to attend the Sunday fights because his daughter and Tim’s half-sister has been ill.
Harrison said he wasn’t sure what the future would hold. “The boxing [stuff] is hard. I’ve been doing this since I was five. I don’t know if I want to spend the next five, six years getting hit in the face. My brother [trainer LJ Harrison] had the perfect game plan, but sometimes when you get in there you forget.”