Tim Tszyu steps off the canvas to keep world title dream alive

America now knows what Australians have known for some time; that Tim Tszyu is a real star.

Even before his arm was raised in victory, Tszyu had carved his name into history. Never before has an Aussie headlined a world title fight.

Afterwards, he revealed that he defeated more than his opponent.

“I had a hell of a preparation, man,” Tszyu said.

“Two days before the fight, I was coughing like a dog. It was horrible. I couldn’t breathe.

“Even now, man, it’s still in my lungs. For the two weeks I was here in America, it was hard work, but I was trying to drink water, trying to get by, trying not to show it to anyone. I didn’t want the media to find out and have excuses and stuff like that. It’s like that.

“Weight was also an issue. But you know what, I held on, got back up, faced adversity in training camp, in sparring, and got the job done against a world class opponent who has a great future.

Former Olympian Gausha was never going to be a pushover, having only lost twice in a ten-year professional career. One of those losses was in a world title fight against Erislandy Lara, while the other was against another big fish, Erickson Lubin. That result may have dashed hopes of another championship crack.

Gausha has a reputation for making opponents miss. He took much of Tszyu’s opening shots to his gloves, then delivered an incredible straight right that floored the favorite.

When Tszyu regained his feet, he almost lost them again. Gausha landed three more rights to raise fears of a monumental upset.

“I felt like I had it in trouble,” Gausha said of her first-round knockdown.

“I tried to jump on him but he’s a tough fucking tough fighter. Hats off to him. He came prepared. I was ready for 12 tough rounds too.

“I got a little too excited, tried to jump on him, but he was in good shape so he recovered pretty well. He just pressed action. I knew he was going to come like this. We train hard for it.

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“I hope I gave the fans a great show. I hate to lose, but I came out a champion.

Tszyu now takes his unbeaten record to 21.

“There’s a lot more to learn,” Tszyu said. “This sport, there is so much to learn, you have to keep going, keep training hard, keep improving and keep fighting warriors like Terell Gausha.”

The victory puts Tszyu in position to fight the winner of the Brian Castano-Jermell Charlo clash on May 14. The winner of this fight will hold all four belts, and now they are within reach for the Aussie.

“I will definitely be there for Charlo-Castano,” Tszyu said. “I will definitely watch. I come to pick up the two boys. Whoever wants it, come get it.

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