Tim Tszyu is to take on Keith Thurman in the inaugural pay-per-view event of PBC’s agreement with Amazon Prime.
Thurman, who will be making his debut in the 154-pound division, is set to end a two-year hiatus as he faces the undefeated Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs), reported by Mike Coppinger.
Tim Tszyu vs Keith Thurman
The bout is said to be set in Las Vegas on March 30, where Tim Tszyu will defend his WBO 154 lb title.
This event marks the commencement of Premier Boxing Champion’s (PBC) collaboration with Amazon’s Prime Video. It’s noteworthy that the Pay-Per-View broadcast will also be accessible on traditional linear television. PBC has been the primary boxing content provider for Showtime since 2013. However, it’s worth noting that Showtime declared the discontinuation of its sports programming in October.
Tim Tszyu: The Rise of the Undefeated Aussie
Tszyu, 29, had a flawless 3-0 record in 2023, contesting all his matches in his home country, Australia. He secured a ninth-round victory over Tony Harrison in March, swiftly followed by a remarkable 77-second triumph against Carlos Ocampo in June, and a decision win over Brian Mendoza in October.
With a record of 24-0, including 17 knockouts, Tszyu has emerged as the premier fighter in the 154 lbs category, especially in the absence of Jermell Charlo, who hasn’t competed in the division since mid-2022. Tszyu expressed a desire to face Jermell Charlo, the former undisputed 154-pound champion. However, Charlo opted to move up to 168 instead and faced Canelo Alvarez, resulting in a defeat.
The unbeaten Australian fighter had attracted interest from several prominent opponents. Rumours suggested that Erickson Lubin withdrew from negotiations, but the potential challenger denied such claims.
Terence Crawford’s trainer, Bernie Davis, asserted that Tszyu had become the “most appealing” choice for the next fight. Davis emphasised Crawford’s eagerness to ascend and secure a championship in a fourth weight class.
Keith Thurman: The Return of the King
Thurman, 35, with a record of 30-1 and 22 knockouts, previously held the welterweight title. However, he has only participated in one bout in the past four-and-a-half years, which took place in early 2022. Consequently, he will have spent over two years outside the ring by the time of this upcoming fight. Adding to his period of inactivity, Thurman has engaged in merely three fights in the last seven years.
The most recent appearance of ‘One Time’ was in February 2022, when he secured a victory over Mario Barrios after a 12-round bout. With undeniable mobility, he performed admirably, securing a comprehensive twelve-round unanimous decision victory over the former WBA 140-pound champion.
Thurman had been associated with potential bouts against Terence Crawford, Devin Haney, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Jaron Ennis. Even Claressa Shields playfully called for a mixed-gender clash.
Despite his lack of activity, Thurman is still ranked No.2 in the welterweight division by the WBA.
The Tale of the Tape
There are uncertainties about Thurman’s current capabilities following his recent inactive period. If he adopts a similar fighting style as he did against Barrios, there’s a possibility of him defeating Tszyu, provided he can manage Tszyu’s formidable punching power.
If Thurman exhausts his stamina in the later rounds, Tszyu’s relentless pressure and powerful punching style could pose immense challenges. Thurman, who boasts faster hands, holds an advantage in catching Tszyu by surprise.
It is imperative to note that the inaugural Amazon Prime headliner stands as the ultimate crucible for Tszyu, marking the pinnacle challenge in his unblemished career.
If Tszyu secures a victory, it could pave the way for potential bout with the undefeated Vergil Ortiz Jr. The unbeaten American prospect has expressed interest in facing Tszyu.
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images