Kostya Tszyu never quite became a superstar in the United States but, to boxing fans, he was an easy fighter to enjoy. He came to fight. He made good quotes. He landed a brick of a right hand.

Tim Tszyu has a long way to go to catch up to his father as a professional and, being fair, he probably won’t. That’s okay. What we saw on Saturday, with Tszyu coming off the floor in the first round to arguably win every round that followed, was a plus for an already thrilling weight class.

Jr. middleweight might not be as stacked with future Hall of Famer’s and classics as Jr. bantamweight has been over roughly the same last six-seven years. It’s still been a memorable era and Tszyu arrives to inject new life. Terrell Gausha was a good co-star, staying in the fight all the way and showing tremendous courage when victory seemed beyond viability. The kid can fight and he’s ready for the real contenders at Jr. middleweight.

Is Tszyu ready for the winner of Jermell Charlo-Brian Castano II?

Futures: Even if Tszyu is ready, it doesn’t mean his team should be. There is enough talent around at 154 to sharpen Tszyu’s tools for another fight or two. Gausha is a good fighter. Charlo and Castano have been another level up as professionals and, in the case of Charlo, there is a legitimate killer instinct to worry about. Erickson Lubin arguably went to Charlo too soon and paid for it.

Tszyu is going to be a title contender for a while. He has time to develop a little more to ensure he gives himself the best chance to capitalize when his moment arrives. 

For Gausha, the loss is a bitter pill. He’s struggled to get past the outside looking in and took a lot of punishment on Saturday. He’s going to continue to be a test for new talents on the rise if he sticks around and might send a few backwards in line before he’s done.

If Showtime highlighted the US arrival of a new significant face, the fans in Leeds saw the restoration of a local favorite.

Warrington Resumes

Josh Warrington picked up where he left off the last time he won a fight in 2019, leaving the ring with the IBF belt at featherweight.

In this case, he was picking it back up.

Kiko Martinez’s unlikely title reign is over. The aging battler was assumed to be done as a serious threat before he shocked Kid Galahad last year. After Saturday, those assumptions can resume. Warrington isn’t a big puncher in most of his fights but he looked like a force on Saturday and Martinez’s resistance simply wasn’t there.

Futures: Warrington is back in the title picture and post-fight quotes had him talking about potential unification showdowns. That could exclude the man who handed him his first loss between title reigns: Mauricio Lara.

For the boxing-is-a-business crowd, Saturday was evidence. Warrington getting a chance to regain the IBF belt he vacated to pursue a fight with Xu Can that never happened before Lara got a title shot isn’t surprising.

It’s just a reminder that merit isn’t always what matters in boxing. The right thing for the IBF to do competitively is push toward what would be a third Warrington-Lara clash. Their second ended early on a clash of heads and Lara deserves a chance to take the strap.

If that doesn’t happen right away, Warrington versus Leigh Wood makes too much sense not to happen eventually. Wood, Leo Santa Cruz, and the lingering mess of the WBA title picture may have to be resolved first.  

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.