Tim Tszyu of Australia showed himself worthy of elevation to WBO World Super Welterweight champion status. Tszyu (24-0, 16 KOs) defended his freshly minted title against Brian Mendoza of Las Vegas (22-3, 16 KOs) in a powerful performance in front of 6,000 fans, including his very vocal girlfriend at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Queensland, Australia.
Although Mendoza demonstrated toughness and determination, Tszyu prevailed easily in the decision victory.
Scorecards were 117-111, 116-112, and 116-111.
Mendoza came to fight, standing right in front of Tszyu, looking for his best opportunities to wear the Australian champion down.
He came to Australia two weeks early to acclimate and was in top condition. Mendoza kept working the jab as Tszyu waited for the right opportunity with the right hand.
Tszyu said before the fight he would get rolling in earnest in the fourth round. He was good to his word.
He applied consistent pressure, making the ring small for Mendoza and trapping him against the ropes. The fight's momentum turned in Tszyu’s favor, and picked up steam round by round.
Tszyu started landing big left hooks and left uppercuts. Mendoza’s right eye sprouted a mouse from the repeated hard left hands. But he walked through them.
Tszyu started to cut off the ring with his left hook, giving Mendoza less territory. The hard shots started flowing and landing.
In round seven, Tszyu landed three right uppercuts and rattled Mendoza seriously for the first time. Mendoza attempted to hold while Tszyu went to the body. Mendoza stands his ground.
In the corner, trainer Ismael Salas tells Mendoza to hold his hands up, he’s getting hit too much while protecting his body. Mendoza did what he could.
He landed power punches of his own but was losing the steam behind them due to Tszyu’s relentless assault. There would be no last-minute heroics from Mendoza this time.
Mendoza had never been stopped, and he wasn’t going to let it happen Saturday. Mendoza had never gone past ten rounds and had to dig down to get to the final bell.
Tszyu was entirely in control of the fight. He continued to hurt Mendoza, wanting to end the fight and give his devoted Australian fans a fight they’d long remember.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) October 15, 2023
But Mendoza’s chin still had a say and refused to yield. By the 11th round, no one would have questioned Salas stopping the fight.
Referee Mark Nelson advised Mendoza in the corner before the last round to defend himself. After a quick check of a cut above Mendoza’s left eye, he went out and finished the fight on his feet.
Mendoza will be welcome back and is a worthy opponent for anyone not named Tszyu.
Calling Out Jermell Charlo
Immediately after the scores were announced, Tszyu’s first words were spoken straight into the camera.
“Charlo… where you at? Where you at, buddy?” Tszyu added, “He’s probably in his delusional head. He’ll probably think he’s going to beat me. Come get it.”
Asked whether he thought Jermell Charlo, the WBC champion in recess, would answer the call, Tszyu said, “For sure man, he fought Canelo (Alvarez), the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I think now he’s the best 154. But let’s prove to everyone who is really the king of the division.”
Tszyu had nothing but compliments for Mendoza. “Man, he’s tough, he’s crafty, he’s slick, he’s got power, he’s world-class for a reason. He’s just behind me,” laughed Tszyu. He isn’t wrong about this.
Viva Las Vegas for Tim Tszyu
Tszyu’s plan is to fight in the United States against bigger names for bigger paychecks.
Saturday’s fight was a farewell gift to his fans. “(I wanted to) have some fun in there, and perform for everyone. This is the last hurrah,” said Tszyu after his win. “Hopefully we can go to Vegas all together.”
He thanked his Australian fans for standing by him on his rise in the sport. “It’s unbelievable man. I have a pack of lions with me, all the boys in training camp, all the boys behind me… Every single person in Australia. The support’s been unreal.
“Thanks to all my day ones. See you all in Vegas!”
Goodman Takes Down Flores
In the co-main aired in the U.S. on Showtime Boxing, Sam Goodman of Australia (16-0, 7 KOs) of Australia dominated a game Miguel Flores of Mexico (24-5-1, 12 KOs) in an action-packed super bantamweight fight.
A knockdown and a point taken from Flores for a low blow contributed to the lopsided scorecards of 120-105 twice and 118-107 for Goodman.
Flores, age 31, earned the opportunity defeating veteran former champion Abner Mares in 2022. He got off to a strong start, but Goodman is calm and precise.
He kept working a busy jab, picking off Flores’ attempts to go to the body. Neither man shied away from the action, standing across from each other in the center of the ring.
It was an overhand right in the eighth round that rocked Flores, followed by a body shot. He beat the count with half the round ahead.
Goodman didn’t intend to let Flores hear the bell. He went after Flores with all his artillery.
Flores got docked a point for a foul, possibly to buy himself time, as Goodman came at him. Flores picked up the action, willing to go out on his shield. He came on strong and got to the end of the round.
The fight continued with Goodman grinding away, but Flores would not yield.
If there is any consolation in ending the fight on his feet, Flores deserves respect for the effort and making the contest fun to watch.
It is more than we can say about Jermell Charlo or Vincent Gualtieri earlier in the evening against Janibek Alimkhanuly.
It was a good test, we knew he would be tough,” said Goodman. “You know where I'm at, and you know where I'm going. Wollongong, see you next.”
Goodman, age 25, hopes to win a world title in the super bantamweight division, contributing to the surging wave of boxing talent out of Australia.
Goodman is the number one IBF mandatory challenger to Marlon Tapales of the Philippines, but Tapales has business in a unification fight against Naoya Inoue.
Goodman must bide his time and accumulate more experience waiting for that title fight opportunity.