MINNEAPOLIS – The desire was there all along for Tim Tszyu to leave an impression on a new audience in his U.S. debut.
By his own admission, it took a little longer than expected for the unbeaten Australian to find his groove.
Tszyu was forced to overcome an opening round knockdown and early scorecard deficit to outpoint former title challenger Terrell Gausha atop their March 26 Showtime main event from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Everything about the fight was far different from the big events he has already headlined back home, having headlined nine pay-per-view events taking place in front of packed arenas and stadiums in his native Australia.
“I thought I was a bit too relaxed coming in. Everything was just like, I wasn’t too pumped. I was too mellow,” Tszyu confessed to BoxingScene.com after his first career fight outside of Australia. “Usually before my fights, I’m pumped and nervous. It took me a couple of rounds to get in my comfort zone.
“I was buzzed to fight here. I saw that Showtime banner and was thinking, ‘This is what it’s all about.’ But it still didn’t kick in. After the knockdown, I was like ‘Alright I’m in a fight now. I need to f------’ wake up and get my sh!t together.”
Tszyu (21-0, 15KOs) did just that, outlanding Cleveland’s Gausha (22-3-1, 11KOs) in all but the first three rounds according to final Compubox statistics. The 27-year-old second-generation boxer ultimately landed 101 more power punches than Gausha—207-to-106 and at a 39% connect rate.
Overall, Tszyu landed 236-of-749 punches (31.5%), landing significantly more and at a much higher percentage than was the case for Erickson Lubin (143-of-570, 25.1%) and Erislandy Lara (121-of-528, 22.9%) in Gausha’s only two other losses. Tszyu’s workrate and style prompted a different look from Gausha, who also threw and landed more punches and at a higher connect rate than in his previous defeats or in his dull ten-round draw with Austin Trout.
“He’s a boxer. He likes to box from a distance, work on these sharp angles,” noted Tszyu in making subtle adjustments after facing early adversity. “The first few rounds I wanted to be cautious. And I got caught.
“It was a good experience, being able to see the shots and slowly put the pressure on him and break him down. There was one round I could feel he was ready to go. I nearly got him out of there."
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox