Tim Tszyu notched his 19th consecutive victory with a third round body shot stoppage of substitute opponent Steve Spark to claim the vacant Commonwealth 154-lb title on Wednesday night at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle in Australia. Tszyu retained his WBO Global junior middleweight title with his impressive victory tonight.
Tszyu (19-0, 15 KOs), the son of the former IBF/WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu, played it cool in the first two rounds against the smaller, weaker 24-year-old Spark.
It was clear that Tszyu wasn’t putting full power into his shots in the first couple of rounds. Tszyu looked like he was seeing what Spark had before he started to unload on him.
In the third round, Tim Tszyu knocked Spark down with a hard body shot. Spark showed courage in getting up from the knockdown because he looked like he was in pain.
When the action resumed, Spark surprisingly unleashed a small storm of shots on Tszyu, who took them calmly before delivering a brutal left-hand body shot that put Stevie down for the second time in the round.
The referee Brad Vocale then waived the fight off at 2:22 of the third. Tszyu was up 20-18 on all three of the judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
With Tszyu’s #1 ranking with the World Boxing Council and #3 with the WBC, he’s in a position to fight for a world title. It’s up to Tszyu’s promoters whether they feel he’s ready to fight for world honors.
This month, IBF/WBA/WBC 154-lb champion Jermell Charlo will be meeting WBO champion Brian Castano for the undisputed championship in the weight class.
Tszyu is in a position to challenge the winner of that fight if his promoters want to give him the green light.
Ideally, you’d like to see Tszyu get a little more experience against true world-class opposition before he fights for a world because the guys that he’s been facing in the last two years, they’ve not been nearly good enough to adequately prepare him for what he’d be dealing with against Jermell or Castano.
These would be good options for Tszyu to fight next:
- Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams
- Charles Conwell
- Liam Smith
- Sebastian Fundora
- Tony Harrison
- Erickson Lubin
- Jarrett Hurd
- Israil Madrimov
- Bakhram Murtazaliev
- Erislandy Lara
Let’s not kid ourselves. Tszyu has got to beat those kinds of fighters to have a chance of defeating the winner of the Charlo vs. Castano fight. If Tszyu can’t beat those guys, he will not do well against the Charlo – Castano winner.
At this point in his career, Tszyu should have already fought some of those fighters from the above list because those are the type of guys you fight to get experience.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen Tszyu matched against largely domestic-level fodder in Australia, which hasn’t helped him prepare for what he will be dealing with when he fights for a world title.
Tszyu’s last six opponents:
- Steve Spark
- Dennis Hogan
- Bowyn Morgan
- Jeff Horn
- Dwight Ritchie
- Jack Brubaker
These are the kinds of guys you fight if you’re going to hang around and fight at the domestic level in Australia rather than against world-class fighters.
Given how poorly his promoters have matched Tszyu, he really needs at least five or six quality fights before he competes for a world title, in this writer’s view.
He’s fighting at the Zerafa level, which is well below where he needs for him to compete against Charlo, Castano, or Lara.
We don’t want to see Tszyu get in there against one of the world champions at 154 and look like a deer staring into the headlights.
Tonight’s low-level opponent for Tsyzu is another example of him being matched against poor opposition that won’t help him progress.