‘You lost sir’: Boxing king’s brutal reality check for Tszyu amid career nightmare, next fight

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Tim Tszyu’s career is at a crossroads after he was handed his first professional loss against Sebastian Fundora in his Las Vegas debut.

Tszyu started the fight 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.

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.

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Tszyu had the better of the first two rounds but the rest of the fight was too close to call — the judges handed Fundora victory via split decision (116-112, 115-113, 112-116).

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

Had he won, Tszyu would have targeted the biggest names in boxing, including Errol Spence Jr and pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford.

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.”

Fundora will no doubt be eyeing a big money fight with Crawford or Spence, who entered the ring and said he’d be willing to fight 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.

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.

The Courier Mail’s Peter Badel said on Main Event’s coverage: “I think a fit, blood free Tim Tszyu can win this fight still.

“He can win a rematch. He’s got the power. If he is just tactically more astute in a rematch, he can exact revenge.

“Tim Tszyu can rebuild from this. He’s not finished. He can fight back.”

Boxing politics could mean if Tszyu doesn’t have a rematch with Fundora, he could find himself fighting his original opponent Keith Thurman or other lesser likes — when victory would have had him earning tens of millions from fights against Spence and Crawford.

News Corp reports a rematch clause means Tszyu vs Fundora 2.0 could be held in Australia later this year as a stadium show at either Sydney’s Allianz Stadium or Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

Tszyu’s No Limit promoter George Rose told the Bloke In A Bar podcast before the fight he never considers the possibility of Tszyu losing when he gets in the ring.

“The one mentality I have is I never consider Tim Tszyu losing, so I never think about that alternate world scenario.

“I believe Tim wins every day of the week, he beats anyone who steps in the ring with him.”

Now it’s happened, Rose and his crew will need to ensure it’s a case of one step back, two steps forward for Tszyu, and he doesn’t go into the boxing wilderness.

Tszyu’s first career defeat will also give No Limit pause for thought over whether it was the right call to fight Fundora on such short notice after Thurman’s withdrawal.

“It’s an absolute curse because he’s the bogeyman of the division,” Rose said of Fundora when Tszyu agreed to the fight.

“It’s such a hard fight to prepare for.

“The conversations change to, ‘How the hell do you land one on Fundora?’

“He’s literally a guy you need a 12-week camp for.”

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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