TIM Tszyu and Dennis Hogan will consolidate their world level ambitions in Newcastle tonight.
The world class pair, seen as the two best operators in their division, will meet as the headline attraction on another stacked card by domestic leader, No Limit Boxing.
We spoke to a slew of industry experts to get their opinion on this pay-per-view blockbuster.
Will Tomlinson, former super featherweight champion/promoter
Tszyu TKO8 Hogan: I think Tim will continue his upward trajectory of class as a fighter, by controlling the distance and pace of the fight.
He’ll use his jab and his ring generalship to slowly close his range on Hogan. I can see him landing his power shots in the middle part of the fight, and eventually halting him in the later rounds.
Dennis is a world class competitor with his awkward and unconventional style. But much like Jeff Horn, I think Tim and the way he fights, with his composure and vision, will be one step ahead.
Chris McCullen, two-time Australian champion
Tszyu W10 Hogan: I think Dennis will bring the best out in Tim, who is growing in confidence.
Tim’s accuracy and distance control will be the difference. Dennis has a tricky style and will give Tim a few scares early.
But Tim will take control as the fight goes on for a late stoppage or points victory.
Jayde Mitchell, former world rated super middleweight
Tszyu W10 Hogan: This is a real pick’em fight. Dennis is by far the best and trickiest opponent Tim has faced.
The last time I picked against Tim was the Dwight Ritchie fight. Tim has passed every test, and I’ve vowed to never pick against him again. However, if I was a betting man, Dennis is looking as great value right now, but I’m not.
I believe this is Tim’s coming of age fight, proving he belongs with the big dogs. He wins a narrow decision against a tricky Hogan. If I’m wrong, I’ll gladly eat my words.
Justin Fitzgerald, trainer
Tszyu W10 Hogan: This is a chance for Tim to step it up again, and possibly make a final statement before heading overseas. I think he’ll make the most of it.
Having seen first-hand his fight preparation and sparring, I think Tim’s skill, speed, timing and efficiency will earn him the win. A classy points victory or late stoppage.
Tony Tolj, manager
Tszyu W10 Hogan: This fight shapes up to be a cracking one. Full credit to No Limit Boxing for making it happen.
Make no mistake, this is Tim Tszyu’s toughest test to date. I believe he gets it done by decision.
Paul Briggs, former world title challenger
Tszyu W10 Hogan: I think Hogan will pose some interesting questions for Tszyu.
And yet I see Tszyu being victorious as Hogan, albeit a great boxer, just doesn’t have the power to trouble Tszyu.
Trent Broadhurst, former world title challenger
Tszyu TKO Hogan: I like this fight a lot, it’s an interesting clash of styles.
Tszyu dealt with Horn easily, who has an awkward style not to dissimilar to Hogan. The speed, accuracy and timing of Tszyu is levels above anyone. In boxing, that’s a dangerous combination.
I wish Dennis well, but I see a stoppage victory for Tszyu.
Andrew Moloney, former WBA super flyweight champion
Tszyu W10 Hogan: I think this will be an interesting fight. I see Hogan’s awkward style making things hard for Tim in the early rounds.
But once Tim works him out, I believe he will control the fight. I see Tim finishing strong, and winning by unanimous decision. Possibly, even a late stoppage.
Jason Moloney, former two-time world title challenger
Tszyu TKO9 Hogan: Hogan’s experience at the top level should make this interesting. But Tszyu is continuing to improve with each fight.
I expect him to be too sharp and accurate for Hogan. I was impressed by how well Tszyu went to the body against Horn. If he can do that again, I think he might be able to stop Hogan in the later rounds.
Jason Whateley, former Australian cruiserweight champion
Tszyu TKO8 Hogan: I think it’s a great fight. I’m looking forward to watching not only that one, but the undercard too.
I think Tszyu wins with a stoppage in the later rounds.
Gareth Williams, trainer
Tszyu TKO8 Hogan: What a great fight this is for Australian boxing. Dennis has been tested at world level, and was unfortunate against Munguia. This is a great scrap for Tim.
I do believe Tim has the patience and composure to be world class, and I can see him stopping Dennis in the final third of the fight.
Marcos Amado, trainer
Tszyu UD10 Hogan: This fight Tszyu announces himself to the world.
It will be a dominating performance, and either wide unanimous decision, or late stoppage victory.
Jamie Pittman, former world title challenger/trainer
Tszyu UD10 Hogan: A great fight for Australian boxing. Tim Tszyu impresses me and I think he is a very adaptable fighter.
He can adapt to any style put in front of him. For that reason, I see Tim winning on points.
Luke Jackson, former world title challenger
Tszyu TKO Hogan: This is another step up of opponent for Tim. It’s been great to watch him develop over the years.
I think he has too much for Hogan at this stage of Hogan’s career. Once Tim finds his distance and starts timing Hogan, I think he’ll get him out of there.
Jay Gray, trainer
Tszyu TKO8 Hogan: First, how good is the resurgence of Australian boxing? We weren’t able to bring over imports and now the best in Australia are fighting each other.
Here’s a perfect example between Tszyu and Hogan. Kudos to No Limit Boxing for creating another blockbuster card for Australian boxing fans.
If Hogan can present how he did against Munguia, this will undoubtedly be Tszyu’s toughest assignment to date. Tim keeps evolving each fight, and I look forward to seeing what he brings to this one.
I’ve got Tszyu by late stoppage. His innate hunger to succeed and his youth will be a deciding factor.
George Reno, matchmaker
Tszyu TKO Hogan: I think Tszyu wins this by stoppage.
He’s too sharp and classy. Dennis Hogan is probably past his his best. It all comes down to timing, and it’s Tim’s time right now.
Patrick Kennedy, matchmaker
Tszyu TKO Hogan: I see Tszyu winning in spectacular form tonight.
He stopes Hogan inside four or five rounds, and it will be on all the news clips.
Photo: Darren Burns