Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Tim Tszyu vs. Keith Thurman: WBO junior middleweight title fight set for March 30 in Las Vegas

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In a bizarre turn in the boxing world, Keith Thurman will challenge WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu on March 30. The bout, Tszyu’s second since being elevated to full champion, will take place on in Las Vegas.

The fight is set to be the first pay-per-view main event for Premier Boxing Champions since they signed their new deal with Amazon after the shuttering of Showtime Sports.

The bout is a strange move given Thurman has not fought since February 2022 and has not fought above welterweight since 2012. Despite that, the former unified welterweight champ holds a 30-1 record with 22 knockouts. He won his most recent outing, taking a decision win over Mario Barrios. That win helped him rebound from his lone career loss, a July 2019 split decision to boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.

Tszyu won the then-vacant WBO interim junior middleweight title with a TKO of Tony Harrison in March 2023. He retained the title the following June, taking just 77 seconds to knock out Carlos Ocampo.

When WBO champion Jermell Charlo moved up to super middleweight to challenge undisputed champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the world title transferred to Tszyu the moment after Charlo’s name was announced during the fight introductions.

During his first official world title defense, Tszyu took a unanimous decision win over Brian Mendoza to improve his record to 24-0 with 17 stoppages.

Thurman is a former world champion, having held the WBA interim welterweight championship starting July 2013 after a knockout win over Diego Chaves and defending the secondary title until promoted to “regular” champion and eventually full world champion following Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s retirement, making his first defense as world champion in June 2016 with a win over Shawn Porter.

The undercard for this first event will feature some intriguing matchups. Rolando “Rolly” Romero will take on Isaac Cruz in a battle for Romero’s WBA junior welterweight title. Plus, WBA middleweight champion Erislandy Lara will take on Michael Zerafa. And former junior middleweight champion Sebastian Fundora returns to take on Serhii Bohachuk to open the PPV.

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