Devastating Tim Tszyu dagger as Sebastian Fundora ordered to fight Terence Crawford

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Tim Tszyu has been given the cruel news he will not get a re-match with Sebastian Fundora.

That is if the new WBC and WBO world champion follows a demand from officials to defend his belts against pound for pound king Terence Crawford.

It was revealed on Monday morning, the WBO has made Crawford the mandatory challenger for Fundora’s title.

Tszyu started the fight against Fundora well but became blinded by his own blood when a stray elbow from Fundora opened up a nasty cut high on his forehead in the second round.

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The Australian was severely hampered by the gushing wound but showed bravery as the fight went the distance.

The boxing world was stunned by the bloodbath, with many arguing the fight should have been stopped as soon it became apparent how deep his cut was.

It comes as drama swirls behind the scenes about a disputed re-match clause with Fundora’s camp claiming he has no obligation to fight Tszyu next.

That comes despite Tszyu’s promoter No Limit Boxing insisting a re-match clause is in place.

ESPN reported on Monday morning no rematch clause existed in the contracts signed by the two fighters. Leading boxing journalist Michael Benson reported there had been a verbal agreement between the promoters before the fight.

After seeing Fundora’s arm raised following the split decision victory, Tszyu’s camp must have known the fighter’s dreams of superstardom in the United States were dashed.

But the developments that have come after the fight must be worse than they could have dreamed.

It was expected former unified welterweight champion Errol Spence would be Fundora’s next opponent after the fighter stepped into the ring to face Fundora after the judges’ decision was announced. That twisted violently in the minutes that followed with Crawford taking to social media to demand he be Fundora’s next opponent.

It appears he will get his wish.

Benson posted on Twitter on Monday WBO president Paco Valcarcel has confirmed the governing body will order Fundora to put his belts on the line against Crawford.

The WBC will also reportedly order Fundora to defend his title against Serhii Bohachuk, but that seems unrealistic at best.

It leaves Tszyu’s future at a crossroads, likely needing to pivot towards another fight before getting a chance to win his belts back.

It was less than 24 hours ago that Tszyu himself had spoken about the attraction of staging his next world title defence in front of 40,000 fans in Sydney — a fight that was expected to be the richest in the history of Australian boxing.

Suddenly he seems left out in the cold.

The devastating loss is the first blemish on Tszyu’s previously perfect record, which now reads 24-1 (17KOs).

Interestingly, he called out Spence and Crawford in the ring after the fight and didn’t sound desperate for a rematch with Fundora.

“We’ll bounce back. I showed up, I always show up no matter what,” Tszyu said of the late-notice world title blockbuster.

“I was given one week, no excuses.

“I’ll fight whoever whenever. Errol Spence is here. Even Terence Crawford, I’ll fight him.”

“I want to fight the best, I want to make the mega fights happen,” Tszyu said in his post-fight press conference.

“I’m still chasing them and I still believe I’m at the very top of the tree.”

There has been widespread anger from across the boxing world since it emerged Tszyu may be snubbed of a chance to get his revenge against Fundora.

Asked about Spence wanting to fight Fundora, Tszyu said: “Interesting. I would like to fight Errol Spence as well, let me know if you want to get it on.”

Longtime welterweight champion and pound-for-pound boxing king Crawford had a brutal reality check for Tszyu after the loss.

“You lost sir you gotta work yo way back up,” Crawford tweeted.

There’s also confusion about what’s next as it has been reported there is a rematch clause in the contract should Tszyu have lost, while Boxing Scene reported that Fundora was not contractually obligated to run it back if he lost.

“I believe the promoter needs to maximize the interest of the fighter … first we need to take care of business,” Fundora’s manager Sampson Lewkowicz said.

Tszyu’s promoter, No Limit boss George Rose said: “I’d love to see Tim take that and win them belts straight back.

“I’m happy for a rematch to happen next and good luck trying to get out of it.”

Tszyu, 29, has been made to take the long road to world title fights after Jermell Charlo pulled out of a unification bout — instead choosing to make life changing money and lose to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

But Tszyu could soon learn losses can be deadly to a fighter’s path to title fights and stardom.

Floyd Mayweather never lost in his career, Alvarez has only lost twice in 64 fights and heavyweight legend Tyson Fury remains undefeated from 35 fights.

While of course it’s possible for Tszyu to come back from a loss, defeats can be seriously damaging to a boxer’s career and star power.

It was a brutal weekend for Australian boxing with three Aussies losing world title fights.

Liam Wilson was stopped by Oscar Valdez in Arizona and Michael Zerafa was demolished in a second round knockout by Erislandy Lara on the Tszyu undercard.

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