THE weight of expectation was firmly on the shoulders of Tim Tszyu on Wednesday night.
In front of a capacity crowd and with a slew of mainstream sporting personalities watching on, the unbeaten prospect delivered on his promise to strip the national title from Joel Camilleri.
It was methodical and patient, but laced with the type of entertainment and measured aggression that could turn Tszyu (now 13-0, 10 KOs) into a bonafide sporting attraction in his own right.
Camilleri (now 17-6-1, 8 KOs) was far from disgraced, offering glimpses of his revered awkwardness, displaying the ability to halt his younger opponent in his tracks, whenever the opportunity arose.
In a game of inches, it was the prodigiously talented Tszyu that bested the defending titleholder for the majority of ten competitive rounds.
Having secured a maiden Australian title, Tszyu can now look forward to bigger challenges, according to his promoter, Matt Rose of No Limit Boxing.
“Tim really wanted the Australian title, and it’s something he has now achieved,” Rose told Aus-Boxing.
“As the champion, Joel Camilleri was always going to give him a great fight. I think his fitness and awkward style made this a high-quality main event, which it did on the night.
“Tim has arrived and did so in a big way, he is now the face of Australian boxing.
“The media attention and drawing power that he now has shows that we are in a new era of boxing for Australia. We had a sold-out venue and the ratings spoke for themselves.”
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I’d like to say thank you for all the messages and support from everyone in Australia and Russia. This was a special night as it was my dream to fight for the Australian title. Big respect to Joel as he was a hungry and strong opponent. We both dug deep and put on a show for all the fans nationwide. Thank you to my sponsors, my team, my promoter and Foxtel for putting on this show. As I said, this is only the beginning. We’ve got a long road ahead of us and I’m very excited for what the future has to hold. For now, I’m just going to take a few days to relax, eat some ice cream and will be back in the gym on Monday. Peace.
While the official numbers haven’t been released, it’s evident that Tszyu has the drawing power to usher in a new era for televised boxing in Australia.
This was highlighted by the presence of Australia’s consensus number one fighter, Jeff Horn, who commentated from ringside in the hope of building interest in an eventual meeting.
As leading media authority Ben Damon reveals, Tszyu’s first foray into the pay-per-view market proved to be an overwhelming success.
“As a rule, Main Event don’t disclose details on pay-per-view sales, but it would be fair to say that the numbers well and truly exceeded expectations,” added Damon.
“There was a belief that Tim Tszyu’s name would resonate with a mainstream audience, but to declare the overall support of the event a success would be a drastic understatement.
“It was a magnificent night for Australian boxing, featuring a fight that will be talked about for years between Ty Telford and Jack Brubaker.
“With the way the entire promotion has been received, we can declare that the Tim Tszyu journey has well and truly begun, which is very exciting.”