Australia’s Tim Tszyu has beaten American Tony Harrison via a technical knockout to claim the interim WBO super welterweight belt and emulate his father Kostya in becoming a world boxing champion.
- Tszyu stopped Harrison in the ninth round
- His father Kostya was a multiple world champion
- Tszyu’s win secures a fight Jermell Charlo later this year
Tszyu dropped Harrison in the ninth round with a series of savage blows to the head and body in front of a boisterous crowd at the Sydney SuperDome in Homebush.
Seemingly just ahead on points, Tszyu exploded to life to pummel Harrison and leave the referee with no alternative but to stop the fight.
The hometown favourite’s victory came 28 years after his father knocked out Jake Rodriguez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas — when Tim was barely two months old — to capture his maiden world title, the IBF super-lightweight strap.
The Tszyus join an elite group of just six father-son boxing world champions, including Julio Cesar Chavez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, and Leon and Corey Spinks.
In preserving his undefeated record (22-0-0, 16KO) Tszyu also secured a unified mega-fight later this year — likely in July in Las Vegas — against undisputed divisional king Jermell Charlo.
Tszyu was supposed to have squared off with Charlo in the US in January before the American broke two bones in his left hand in training.
He could have waited for Charlo to recover, but placed his world title dreams on the line by taking on Harrison, the one-time WBC world champion.
The only man to have beaten Charlo, Harrison (29-4-1, 21KO) had derided Tszyu as “the bottom of the totem pole” for beating mostly nobodies and riding his family name to his date with destiny.
But Harrison found out the hard way that Tszyu is deserving of his place at the top table in the stacked super welterweight division.
“There was some banter. In the ring, I proved I was the better man,” Tszyu said after the bout.
“The respect is always there. We never bow down to chatter.
“I was smart. I knew he had a jab. He’s the man that beat the man.
“It means I just beat the man that beat the man. What does that make me?”
A watchful and wary Tszyu barely threw a punch in Sunday’s opening round, which the busier Harrison took.
It was more of the same in round two as Tszyu struggled to connect with any meaningful blows.
But he upped the ante with a big overhand right in the third that rocked Harrison, who staved off the wobbles only to find himself on the receiving end again in round four.
Tszyu edged ahead with a series of body shots in round five, as well as a fierce straight right to Harrison’s head.
Harrison hit back in the sixth, landing more shots than Tszyu, who delivered several swings and misses.
Round seven was tough to call but there was little doubt Tszyu took the eighth with another stinging right to the Harrison’s head, before ending the contest with his stunning barrage.
Earlier on the undercard, Tszyu’s younger brother Nikita maintained his unbeaten professional boxing record with an emphatic TKO victory over fellow Australian Bo Belbin.
He floored Belbin early in the fourth round with a heavy left, before the referee stopped the fight half a minute later following another flurry of head shots.