Tim Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) proved once again that he’s no mere hype but an exciting boxer with true grit. Over the course of a thrilling Saturday evening at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach, Australia, he kept a raucous crowd of Tszyu-supporters on their toes. The underdog and, dare I say, punching bag of the evening, Brian Mendoza (22-3, 16 KOs), showcased remarkable resilience, even if he had to gulp down Tszyu’s punches like they were afternoon tea sips.
Despite the onslaught from Tszyu, Mr. Tough-as-Nails Mendoza didn’t crumble. He showcased respectable adaptability, taking the fight the full twelve rounds without hitting the canvas. A small applause for the boy, shall we?
The judges’ scorecards read: 116-111, 116-112, 117-111
Now, here’s where things got cheeky. In round ten, Mendoza delivered a body shot that made Tszyu wince. But wait for it… Tszyu dramatically acted like the shot was below the belt. Usyk style. Cue the dramatic music. Mendoza, in his Mr. Nice Guy mode, hesitated instead of capitalizing on this golden moment. A misjudgment? Absolutely! Tszyu wasted no time switching gears, launching a barrage of punches at Mendoza that could’ve ended the fight right there and then. But the ref, perhaps feeling a tad merciful, didn’t halt the proceedings.
The seventh and eleventh rounds were a treat if you’re a Tszyu fan. Mendoza seemed to be playing a game of catch-me-if-you-can, often clinching, only to have Tszyu turn the tables and land a series of blows, especially behind Mendoza’s head. Talk about taking advantage of a situation! Post-seventh, Mendoza seemed to learn his lesson, steering clear of these dangerous clinches.
The finale, the twelfth round, saw a seemingly reborn Mendoza. The man seemed to have chugged an energy drink, coming at Tszyu with all guns blazing. In a surprising turn, he outshone Tszyu, displaying some excellent boxing chops. Had he maintained this momentum throughout, we might’ve seen a different result. Instead, he reminded folks of his performance against Jeison Rosario.
Post-fight, Tszyu expressed his desire to square up with Jermell Charlo. While Charlo recently had his wallet fattened by Canelo Alvarez and is eyeing Terence Crawford, facing Tszyu might be too risky without a juicy payday. Erickson Lubin, fresh off his victory over Jesus Ramos, seems a more feasible contender for Tszyu’s next opponent.
Final thoughts? This fight had it all: drama, excitement, and a tad bit of comedy, courtesy of Tszyu’s acting skills.