After taking out Tony Harrison in a nine-round beatdown in March, Tim Tszyu hoped the injured Jermell Charlo would be ready to put their delayed showdown on the schedule.
With no fight on the books, Tszyu could have enjoyed the end of summer in Australia. Not a chance with his old-school attitude. Tszyu prefers staying busy. On Sunday in Broadbeach, Queensland (Saturday evening in the U.S.), Tszyu (23-0, 16 KOs) made a statement in the loudest possible voice against veteran Carlos Ocampo of Ensenada, Mexico (34-3, 22 KOs).
Tszyu came out swinging from the opening bell, rattling Ocampo's cage early, then scoring a knockdown with a sizzling right hand snapping Ocampo to the side of the head.
Ocampo beat the count, but it became a moot point. Tszyu closed the show seconds later. He smashed Ocampo with another hard right hand. Then he sealed the victory with a left hand snapping Ocampo's head hard enough to force referee Danrex Tapdasan of the Philippines to protect the Mexican and stop the fight.
Although it was a brief appearance, Tszyu thrilled a sold-out arena of his devoted fans with the sensational performance, successfully defending his WBO interim super welterweight title.
Ocampo's only previous knockout loss was another first-round stoppage at the hands of Errol Spence Jr. Spence took three minutes – 180 seconds. It took Tszyu less than half that time in 1:17, 77 seconds.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) June 18, 2023
‘What's my name?'
Before the post-fight interview, Tszyu said, “I've got a question for you. What's my motherfucking name?”
Tszyu continued, Statement made. I think Errol did it in two and a half minutes. I beat you, Errol. I beat you to it.”
Asked if he had a battle with America, Tzsyu replied, “That's the land I want to conquer. The big one's coming up next. I have this interim belt, but I want all four. I want the name ‘Charlo' on my resume. I did it quicker than your boy, man. Let's dance in October. Let's dance, me and you.”
Tszyu acknowledged adversities leading up to the bout, including the continued delay in staging a fight with unified super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo, due primarily to a hand injury Charlo suffered in training which canceled their scheduled January 28 bout. But it mattered not on Saturday.
“I didn't think it would be that early,” admitted Tszyu. “This guy's a warrior. It's Tim Tszyu here.”
Not even a severe dog bite slowed Tszyu down. if you believe the Australian, the two wounds and 21 stitches only motivated him more.
“You know what, it's got me possessed. I feel like a pit bull now. There's no stopping,” and it's hard not to believe Tzsyu.
Tzsyu called himself blessed to be fighting in front of his fans on Australia's Gold Coast in Queensland. “It's unreal. Thank you to every single person who ever came out and supported me from my first fight. Next one's Charlo. We're coming back with four belts.”
Each time Tzysu has stepped up or tested himself, he's passed the test. Charlo will still be the favorite in a head-to-head matchup. But no doubt oddsmakers are going to have some work to do rethinking their numbers once a fight with Charlo is finally confirmed. A likely date is October. It's shaping up as a not-to-be-missed fight in a year of not-to-be-missed fights.
Undercard: Goodman Squeaks Past Aleem
In the co-main aired in the U.S. on Showtime Boxing, Sam Goodman of Australia (15-0, 7 KOs) of Australia and Ra'eese Aleem of Las Vegas (20-1, 12 KOs) put their undefeated records on the line in an IBF super bantamweight title eliminator.
Goodman pulled off his best career win in a closely contested fight by a split decision. Scores were 116-112 apiece, with a third card of 117-111 by judge Adam Height for Goodman.
Goodman leaped into the air, hearing the results. He shouted out, “I'm Sam Goodman. That's Mr. Fucking Mandatory!” With the win, Goodman now becomes the mandatory challenger to Marlon Tapales of the Philippines, who won an upset victory in April over Murodjon Ahkmadaliev.
“It was tough early, it was awkward, he hit me with about 30 headbutts every round, bollocks,” said an elated Goodman. “Words can't explain the work my team put into this. This is the start. You best know it.”
Asked about his reaction hearing it would be a split decision from ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr., Goodman said he thought, “Oh man, check my pants, honestly!” Goodman credited Aleem as his most formidable competitor. “Credit it to him, it was a really tough test. Don't doubt I'm a 12-round fighter, I just showed you.”
Goodman is eager to take on Tapales. “Where is he? Marlon Tapeles, we're coming for those straps. Keep them warm, I'm coming for them.”