Tim Tszyu rocked by brutal new blow as Aussie boxing champ left 'bitterly disappointed'

Tszyu's brutal new development leaves his fight future under a massive cloud.

Tim Tszyu's blockbuster return to the boxing ring in Los Angeles has been cancelled due to medical advice around his gruesome head cut against Sebastian Fundora in March. Tszyu suffered the first loss of his professional career after going down to Fundora via split decision in the world title fight in Las Vegas, having copped an accidental elbow to the head in round two that left blood gushing down his face for the remainder of the fight.

Having seen plans for a rematch with Fundora scuppered, Tszyu agreed to fight undefeated American Vergil Ortiz Jr. in a world title bout in Los Angeles on August 3. That fight against knockout specialist Ortiz was going to be for the WBA super welterweight interim world title and was billed as part of a blockbuster card headlined by pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford's bout against Israil Madrimov.

Aussie boxing star Tim Tszyu's planned world title fight against Vergil Ortiz in Los Angeles in August has been cancelled on medical grounds. Pic: Getty
Aussie boxing star Tim Tszyu's planned world title fight against Vergil Ortiz in Los Angeles in August has been cancelled on medical grounds. Pic: Getty

But Tszyu's plans have been thrown into disarray on the advice of medical professionals. The Aussie was already medically suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission until May 15 as a result of March's nasty head cut against Fundora. But Californian doctors have now told him to stay out of the ring and not even spar for another six weeks, in order to give his head wound more time to heal.

Tszyu’s promoters No Limit confirmed the latest setback for the Aussie champion and admit Tszyu's camp have been left "bitterly disappointed" by the development. Tszyu had been preparing for the Los Angeles bout during an off-shore training camp with his legendary father Kostya in Thailand.

“We are bitterly disappointed with the setback and Tim is extremely frustrated after a great pre-camp with Kostya,” No Limit CEO George Rose said. “He showed everyone that he’ll fight through anything against Fundora but this decision was taken out of his hands to be honest. Ultimately, it was his body and medical professionals telling him he wasn’t ready yet.”

Seen here, Aussie boxer Tim Tszyu fighting Sebastian Fundora in Las Vegas.
Tim Tszyu suffered a nasty head cut against Sebastian Fundora in Las Vegas in what was his first defeat as a professional boxer. Pic: Getty

It's the latest cruel blow for Tszyu, who saw his hopes of a rematch against Fundora scuppered by the WBO, who ordered that the American's next fight would be against the winner of Crawford's August 3 bout against WBA champ Israil Madrimov for the WBO interim title. As it now stands, Tszyu has no obvious route back to another world title fight - at least not until 2025.

Fundora's team had indicated they would honour a Tszyu rematch clause that was verbally agreed to before the WBO stepped in to put it on the back-burner. Tszyu then turned heads around the boxing world by agreeing to fight the dangerous Ortiz, who has stepped up in a weight class to the super welterweight division after dominating the welterweight class.

The undefeated Ortiz is a knockout machine with 21 KOs from 21 fights and according to ESPN will still fight on the Crawford undercard. Ukraine's Serhii Bohachuk - who beat Brian Mendoza on the on the Tszyu-Fundora undercard in March - is in the running to fight Ortiz as the WBC interim champion and mandatory challenger.

with AAP