Tim Tszyu has spent his entire career being compared to others, something he always expected given his surname.
This time, he decided to take the lead on that front.
The unbeaten junior middleweight from Sydney took an important step in his pursuit of his first major title, scoring a 5th round stoppage of countryman Dennis Hogan. The crossroads bouts took place Wednesday in front of a sold-out crowd at Newcastle Entertainment Centre in Newcastle, Australia.
Hogan (28-4-1, 7KOs) came in on the heels of back-to-back losses, though neither under desirable circumstances. The transplanted Irishman fought outside of his optimal weight in a 7th round loss to Jermall Charlo in their Dec. 2019 middleweight title fight. Eight months prior, many argued that Hogan was outright robbed in a 12-round majority decision defeat to then-WBO junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia.
Wednesday’s headliner in Newcastle left no doubt, as Hogan was dropped hard in round five and stopped at 2:29 of the round in their Pay-Per-View headliner.
“The caliber of my opponent, a two-time title challenger who I got out of there quicker than Charlo—not a bad achievement,” Tszyu quipped after the bout. “I could see [the knockout opportunity] from round two. We knew we had another seven, eight rounds so we paced ourselves.
“It’s sink or swim and we swam.”
The performance was the latest effort provided by Tszyu to prove that he is far more than just the son of Hall of Fame former junior welterweight kingpin Kostya Tszyu. The two are in constant communication with one another, but with Tim Tszyu left to enjoy his own journey without his famous father stealing any of the spotlight.
Next on the younger Tszyu’s list is to claim a major belt. He is ranked among all four sanctioning bodies, manning the number-three spot with the IBF and number-one with the WBO.
Currently in discussion is a planned four-belt undisputed championship showdown between lineal/WBC/WBA/IBF champ Jermell Charlo (34-1, 18KOs) and recently crowned WBO titlist Brian Castaño (17-0-1, 12KOs), though by no means yet at the finish line. Awaiting Charlo is an IBF mandatory title defense due versus Bakhram Murtazaliev, though the fight has yet to be ordered.
Tszyu and his handlers hope to apply the same pressure on the WBO at some point.
“It’s up to my promoter [as to what is next] but we want the real [titles],” insists Tszyu. “And we want them here in Australia.
“I’m going to keep proving my [detractors] wrong.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox