Disbelief over stoppage farce as Tim Tszyu loses ‘goriest fight of all-time’

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The old saying “you don’t play boxing” has never been truer after Tim Tszyu lost his first professional fight, losing his world title to Sebastian Fundora.

Tszyu arrived in the boxing capital of the world full of confidence and looked comfortably the better boxer for the opening two rounds.

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But then the fight was flipped on its head when Tszyu slipped on the giant Fundora’s foot and went head first into the 197cm giant’s elbow, splitting open a deep gash on the Aussie’s forehead.

From there, Tszyu wasn’t just battling Fundora but also his vision as the cut poured into his eye throughout the fight while the American stood behind his jab, making sure the cut stayed open.

Tszyu stayed with the power punches, delivering 136-101 but Fundora was the more active, throwing almost double the punches of Tszyu, even though he only landed 19 more on the Aussie.

In the end, the judges were split with one handing it to Tszyu 116-112, while the other two gave it to Fundora 116-112 and 115-113.

It’s a bitter blow for Tszyu, who’s perfect record now has a blemish, but the 29-year-old has far from disgraced himself with fans still on the hype train.

You can’t take anything away from Fundora, he won the fight fair and square, but how different would it have been without the cut — it’s a question boxing fans around the world want to know.

Former unified light heavyweight world champion Andre Ward said the fight should have been called a no contest

“I think it could have been stopped multiple times, throughout the course of the fight,” Ward said.

“Just because of the way the blood came out and the fact the corner was not able to stop the cut. I thought it was pretty profound that Tim Tszyu did fight through that.

“If Tim says one wrong word ‘I can’t see’, ‘I’m struggling to see’, ‘something’s not right’, the doctor has an obligation to stop the fight immediately and take the fighter out of danger.”

Ward said it showed that Tszyu was a “warrior”.

The Courier Mail’s Peter Badel said he believed it should have been stopped after three rounds.

“Look at the gaping wound — that surely effected Tim,” Badel said.

“I think they should have stopped it. It’s disappointing because we love the fight we saw at the end, it was 12 rounds, it was magnificent theatre but Tim was badly effected.”

The commentators weren’t alone.

One of Tszyu’s vanquished foes Tony Harrison wrote: “If I’m Tim’s corner in round 3 I complain to the ref about the blood get the fight stop and have a genuine camp for Fundora.”

Aussie champion Billy Dib said: “This is ridiculous. This fight needs to be stopped. The amount of blood being lost is dangerous.”

Australia boxing commentator Ben Damon commented: “No point having a doctor if they aren’t willing to stop a fight when one man has been hit by an axe. Unbelievable this wasn’t stopped at the end of 2.”

ESPN boxing insider Mike Coppinger added: “Absolute bloodbath between Tim Tszyu and Sebastian Fundora through four rounds. Tszyu surely can’t see much the way the blood is spooling into his eyes. Fundora appears to have a broken nose. Mouth bleeding, too.”

WBC boxing president Mauricio Sulaiman called it a “bloodbath with boxing at its finest” and added: “Tszyu has to be regarded as one o[f] The toughest warrior ever” [sic].

Grantlee Kieza wrote: “This is a bloody mess!” before adding “Tim dominated early but has an axe wound in the middle of his head from an elbow”.

Later, he wrote: “Wow – goriest fight of all time.”

Boxing reporter Dan Rafael said both men were “bloody wrecks” adding he was “feeling ill” due to the amount of blood pouring out of both men.

Speaking after the fight, Tszyu showed himself a gracious loser, paying tribute to Fundora.

As for who’s next, Tszyu said: “I’ll fight whoever, whenever, Even Errol Spence is here. I’ll fight him as well. Even Terence Crawford. You want a good scrap, you know who to call.”

Spence called out the winner of the fight and was in the ring after the fight to stake his claim on being up next to try and win the Fundora belts.

But 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.

Speaking on the Main Event coverage of the fight, The Courier Mail’s Peter Badel said he believed Tszyu would come back stronger.

“I think a fit, blood-free Tim Tszyu can win this fight,” he said. “I think he can win a rematch. I think he’s got the power. If he is just tactically more astute in the second fight he can exact revenge.

“Every great champion has a loss, he can fight back.”

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