MINNEAPOLIS – Tim Tszyu’s U.S. debut ended in victory but only marked the start of his American dream.
The unbeaten junior middleweight contender stepped outside of his comfort zone back home in Australia, overcoming an opening round knockdown to outpoint Terrell Gausha over twelve rounds Saturday evening at The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Showtime-televised main event marked the first stateside appearance for Tszyu, who has designs on conquering more cities as he awaits his first career title fight.
“I can’t wait to [fight in the U.S.] again,” Tszyu told BoxingScene.com. “My dream is to fight in Las Vegas, but I wouldn’t mind coming back here. This place was incredible.”
Tszyu (21-0, 15KOs) entered the fight as the mandatory challenger to WBO junior middleweight titlist Brian Castano (17-0-2, 12KOs), who is tied up in a rematch with lineal/WBA/WBC/IBF champ Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18KOs). Their rescheduled sequel is set for May 14 in Carson, California, a two-month delay due to Castano suffering a biceps tear which postponed their planned March 19 meeting. Tszyu’s first fight in the U.S. was to take place on that show, but instead moved to its own headliner after initially filing an appeal with the WBO to enforce his mandatory status.
A timetable has not yet been determined for when Tszyu can expect his title shot, other than strong suggestions that he will be first in line for the Charlo-Castano winner—if there is one. Their first fight ended in a disputed split decision draw last July, with nearly ten months to have passed by once they enter the ring in May.
The plan for Tszyu is to remain as active as possible, while further acclimating to his new surroundings. Having grown accustomed to celebrity status back home, the 27-year-old second-generation believes he will be far more comfortable in a U.S. venue the next time around.
“I was too mellow. Usually before my fights, I’m pumped and nervous,” admitted Tszyu. “It took me a couple of rounds to get in my comfort zone.”