Tim Tszyu, the reigning WBO light middleweight champion of the world, will be marking his first title defense of this year as the Aussie has been booked against Keith Thurman for 30th March in Las Vegas.
The news was broken out by Mike Coppinger of ESPN on Wednesday. Through a post made on X, Coppinger claimed that sources have cited Tim Tszyu vs. Keith Thurman has been finalized, with Tszyu’s WBO belt on the line.
The bout will be the main event of the Premier Boxing Championship’s first PPV event under their new deal with Amazon Prime Video. It will also mark the 154-pound debut of Thurman, the former unified WBC and WBA (Super) Welterweight champion who is coming out of a 25-month hiatus.
“Rising star Tim Tszyu will defend his junior middleweight title vs. Keith Thurman on March 30 in Las Vegas, sources tell ESPN. Tszyu-Thurman will headline PBC’s first PPV as part of the new deal with Amazon’s Prime Video. Thurman moves up to 154 for first fight in 25 months,” Coppinger wrote.
Rising star Tim Tszyu will defend his junior middleweight title vs. Keith Thurman on March 30 in Las Vegas, sources tell ESPN. Tszyu-Thurman will headline PBC’s first PPV as part of the new deal with Amazon's Prime Video. Thurman moves up to 154 for first fight in 25 months. pic.twitter.com/A0h5pqypo1
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) January 25, 2024
Tim Tszyu looking to extend his title reign
The fight will be Tszyu’s second WBO title defense after being promoted from interim champion. The undefeated Russian-origin boxer, who hails from Sydney, won the vacant interim WBO 154-pound belt against Tony Harrison via 9th round TKO back in March 2023.
“The Soul Taker” was promoted to full champion status when the former undisputed 154-pound champ Jermell Charlo was stripped off his status after losing to Canelo Alvarez in September.
What followed was another title defense for Tszyu, now as the full world champion, this time against Brian Mendoza, which he also won via unanimous decision in October last year.
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Keith Thurman’s return to action after 25 months
The former unified WBC and WBA (Super) 147-pound champion in Thurman has been out of action since his victory over Mario Barrios in February 2022, which was a comeback from his sole career loss to the legendary Manny Pacquiao in July 2019.
For the Tim Tszyu fight, “One Time” will be making a jump up to 154- returning to his former division, where he had won the NABO belt all the way back in November 2012 against Carlos Quintana.
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Boxing veteran Rick Glaser predicts destructive victory for Tszyu
Veteran boxing promoter Rick Glaser took to his social media to give his two cents on the fight announcement and made his prediction for the bout. Comparing between Tszyu’s very active 2023 and Thurman’s prolongled hiatus, Glaser insisted that this vast difference in activity will work hugely in favour of the Aussie.
“Tszyu is going to destroy Thurman, he’s getting butchered, destruction coming March 30,” said Glaser in a recent post made on X.
Lets examine the facts.
Thurman will be 36 later this year.
Has fought once in the last 4.5 years.
His last fight was 25…
— Rick Glaser (@RealRickGlaser1) January 25, 2024