Tim Tszyu handed suspension as brutal boxing news sends division into chaos


It’s anarchy at 154-pounds.

The entire junior middleweight division has been tossed into chaos by news Sebastian Fundora will not defend his WBO title until November.

That bomb followed an announcement from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) that Aussie Tim Tszyu has been medically suspended until May 15, following the bloody war that unfolded at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Tszyu needed 10 stitches at the top of his scalp after a gruesome, deep cut opened up following an accidental elbow in the final second of the second round.

UFC 300: PEREIRA V HILL | SUN 14 APR | Order Now with Main Event on Kayo Sports. Main Event on Kayo Sports and Foxtel is the new exclusive home of UFC Pay-Per-View.

Tszyu was the unbackable favourite to retain his WBO and WBC junior middleweight belts, but all the clear paths forward towards a Tszyu-Terence Crawford superfight vanished the moment Fundora won the fight via a split decision from the judging panel.

Tszyu’s future was already on shaky ground following the defeat with giants like pound-for-pound king Crawford and former world champion Errol Spence also going public to demand they get the next shot at Fundora’s WBO belt.

Now the division is a complete mess with Fundora medically suspended until September 27.

However, the biggest news came from boxing guru Dan Rafael, who reported Fundora’s camp have already decided the new champion will not step back into the ring until November.

Fundora’s face was a horror show by the end of the 12-round war with Tszyu breaking his nose and forcing the 1.97m American to swallow a disgusting amount of his own blood.

The WBO has ordered Fundora to begin negotiating with Crawford’s management to fight for the world title belt inside the next 180 days.

However, there are serious doubts Crawford would be prepared to wait in line, putting pressure on the WBO to potentially strip Fundora’s title before he gets a chance to defend it.

The WBO announced on Monday, Crawford is the mandatory challenger for Fundora’s next fight.

Spence is also on the periphery as the clear preferred option from promotion company PBC, who organised for the American fighter to step into the ring and face Fundora after the Tszyu fight.

With that drama swirling, Tszyu also has a tough call to make about when he wants to return and if he will continue to fight in Las Vegas — or return to Australia where there are suggestions the NSW and Queensland state governments are prepared to splurge cash to stage his next fight.

Tszyu’s promoters — No Limit Boxing — are in for a very busy six months.

No Limit Boxing boss George Rose on Monday continued to insist a re-match clause was in place for Tszyu to get another shot at the “Towering Inferno”.

However, Fundora’s agent Sampson Lewkowicz raised eyebrows when saying there was no written agreement for a rematch and suggested he would look to maximise his client’s income with another fight.

However, Lewkowicz has since released a statement and declared he would “honour” the verbal agreement for a rematch.

“We were all so eager to make this fight that many of our agreements were made verbally,” Lewkowicz said.

“There wasn’t enough time. But I wish to make it clear that Team Fundora will honour the agreement. My word is always equal to a signed contract.

“Tim Tszyu, your rematch is ready when you are.”

Although he was insistent the rematch would happen, Lewkowicz reiterated the timing of the fight would depend on Tszyu and how he heals.

“It all depends on Tim Tszyu,” Lewkowicz said.

“If he doesn’t take the rematch, we will take the WBO mandatory or Spence, whatever the WBO says, but the first priority is the rematch with Tim Tszyu.”

However, Rafael reported on Fight Freaks Unite, Fundora’s father and trainer, Freddy Fundora, has ruled out letting his son get back into the ring until November.

“Both fighters proved their tremendous hearts in this fight,” Lewkowicz said.

“The elbow was a complete accident, but it showed Tim Tszyu’s greatness in continuing to fight when he could have quit. And Sebastian Fundora was swallowing his own blood for 10 rounds and still was able to beat one of the best in his division.

“It was a sensational fight, and we are ready to do it again when Tim is ready. Congratulations to both fighters. There were no losers Saturday night. The boxing fans won by witnessing it. Amazon Prime Video won with an amazing first show and both fighters won by proving their greatness in front of the whole world.”

With the WBO demanding Fundora fight Crawford this year, it seems possible any Tszyu-Fundora re-match would not be for a world title.

All bets are off.