Fans erupt as Tim Tszyu 'too strong' for Tony Harrison in devastating finish

In what was the biggest fight of his life, Tim Tszyu delivered in a big way against Tony Harrison.

Tim Tszyu raises the belt on the left, and punches Tony Harrison on the right.
Tim Tszyu stopped Tony Harrison in the ninth round to win the interim WBO super welterweight title in Sydney. Pictures: Getty Images

Tim Tszyu has scored a ninth-round knockout against Tony Harrison in Sydney to claim the interim WBO super welterweight title in convincing fashion. In what had been labelled a 'risky' fight for Tszyu, the 28-year-old affirmed his credentials for his fight for the undisputed title against Jermell Charlo later this year.

The early rounds of the fight were a genuine arm-wrestle with Harrison showcasing his impressive jab, but it was Tszyu who slowly gained the upper hand. Round after round, Tszyu was able to pressure the American into the ropes and pummel him with hooks and uppercuts.

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Eventually, the 32-year-old Harrison's defence broke down, allowing Tszyu to land a series of devastating uppercuts that rocked Harrison, before a final hook proved to be the finishing blow. A dazed Harrison got back to his feet on the nine count, but the fight was waved off with Harrison unable to continue.

"He's the man that beat the man. I just beat the man that beat the man," Tszyu said after the fight, referring to Harrison's earlier victory over Charlo. "What does that make me?"

It was no doubt the biggest win of Tszyu's career, his previous best a triumph over Terrell Gausha in his US debut in Minneapolis 12 months ago. Harrison said Tszyu had served the win after the match.

Meanwhile on social media, Aussie boxing fans were going absolutely berserk after Tszyu delivered on his pre-fight promises. Many were quick to look towards the unified title bout against Charlo.

Harrison copped several uppercuts flush to the chin shortly before tumbling to the canvas, leaving commentator Shawn Porter unimpressed with the amount of damage he was allowed to take by the referee. He said it was clear that action needed to be taken.

“I’m very mad at the ref for allowing Tony to take this many clean shots and not stepping in,” Porter said. “That’s vicious punching.”

Tony Harrison credits Tim Tszyu after devastating loss

Tszyu credited his opponent after the match, saying Harrison's jab had been a dangerous weapon throughout the match. There was a moment even in the ninth round where a dominant Tszyu was forced to back up as a result, but it wasn't enough to prevent the result.

“You know, he had the jab and I had to be smart,“Tszyu said. “The respect is always there for each other. Tonight was the night that I proved that I am the better man.”

Harrison took to Twitter after the fight, posting a short message; 'Better man won tonight. No excuse.' The result improved Tszyu's career record to 22-0-0 with 16 knockouts.

Tim Tszyu celebrates victory over Tony Harrison.
Tim Tszyu will look towards an unified title bout against Jermell Charlo laster this year after his victory over Tony Harrison. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

It turned out to be a banner day for the Tszyu family despite the absence of boxing legend and father Kostya Tszyu, with younger brother Nikita Tszyu also picking up a victory on the undercard. He moved to five unbeaten wins thanks to his knockout victory over Bo Belbin.

Charlo (35-1-1, 19KO) is ranked among the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Tszyu has the chance to follow in the footsteps of his father Kostya, who unified the light-welterweight division in 2001 with a second-round knockout of American Zab Judah in Las Vegas.

His promoters from No Limit Boxing are promising to "do everything" to bring his fight to Australia, but the blockbuster is almost certain to take place in the US - and possibly even at the MGM Grand where Kostya Tszyu KO'd the previously unbeaten Judah 21 years ago.

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