Our Experts Decide: Tszyu vs. Fundora

We spoke to a slew of industry experts to get their prediction on the high-stakes clash in Las Vegas.

Ben Savva, trainer and former world rated welterweight

Tszyu TKO6 Fundora: I have gone back and forth on this one, it’s one of the rare occasions we get to see the two best in a division, in their prime actually fighting each other. I am so glad Thurman pulled out because this is a far better fight with a far less predictable outcome.

Fundora brings a challenge that most boxers will have never had to experience before, a nearly two-metre tall southpaw, who loves to stand and trade. Add to that the fact that Fundora was preparing for somebody at least some what similar to Tim, whilst this is a completely different challenge to what Tim was preparing for.

I don’t see Tim’s usually high pressure walk forward style putting Fundora stuck on the back foot, like it does most of his opponents, and it’s at that point we will find out some new things about Tim. Ultimately, this is a 50/50 fight but I think Tim’s timing and body attacks will see him stop Fundora in the early-to-middle rounds.

But I also wouldn’t be surprised if it went the exact opposite way. Either way we are in for a treat. We might even get a Hagler-Hearns type affair from the off. What happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force?

Luke Jackson, former world title challenger

Tszyu TKO10 Fundora: Tszyu is showing that he is a true world champion in taking Fundora on two weeks notice. It’s hard to prepare for someone like Fundora over 12 weeks so for Tszyu to go at it shows that he really backs himself.

I see this fight playing out similar to Kostya Tszyu vs Hugo Pineda, back in 1996. Kostya was dropped early, but come back to stop Pineda in the 11th round and I see this fight playing out similar. It will be tough early, but Tim will break Fundora down and stop him in the later rounds.

Darragh Foley, former world rated light welterweight

Fundora W12 Tszyu: I love Tszyu and his ethos. But training camps and like-for-like sparring does matter. Is he also looking past the food on his plate right now? The talk of Spence, Crawford and Canelo?

Something is in the air, I smell an upset.

Demsey McKean, world rated heavyweight

Tszyu W12 Fundora: I think Tim will get the nod. He’s a had a good, full preparation and will be too strong for Fundora. The right body rip will be there all day for him.

Andrew Moloney, former WBA super flyweight champion

Tszyu UD12 Fundora: This is an interesting fight especially given that Tim has only had one week of sparring to prepare for the very unusual style that Fundora brings. I expect Tim to take around six rounds to get used to Fundora’s style and height.

But I expect that Fundora’s inactivity, having not fought in almost a year since his knockout loss, will cost him. I see Tim taking over in the last half of the fight.

Justin Fitzgerald, trainer

Tszyu TKO8 Fundora: It might be a round or two of Tim getting his bearings at first. But his relentless approach will kick in and his body work will accumulate. I can see a mid-to-late fight stoppage for Tim against a game Fundora.

Chris McCullen, trainer

Tszyu TKO8 Fundora: I think Tim will shine. Tim is the best we have at controlling distance. It will be good to see how he handles Fundora’s height.

I expect Tim to slowly break Fundora down with body work. Tim will get the stoppage win in the eighth round.

Gareth Williams, trainer

Tszyu TKO7 Fundora: Personally I think Fundora is Taylor made for Tim. With Tim’s high guard and accuracy of shots, both underneath and over the top of Fundora.

I think the first three rounds will be cautious for Tim. After four rounds, he will start catching Fundora. I’m predicting a mid-round stoppage.

Luke Meldon, trainer

Tszyu KO9 Fundora: I think momentum in boxing is an incredibly important aspect. I think the momentum Tim has coming into this fight will see him prevail.

I think Fundora is undoubtedly a fan friendlier fight, and could be a tougher opponent stylistically than Thurman. But I can see Tim stopping him in the ninth round after some competitive early rounds.

Benjamin Hussain, unified regional titleholder

Tszyu TKO9 Fundora: Tim Tszyu will win this fight by stoppage. I think it’ll happen in the ninth round, with the left hook.

Sam Goodman, mandatory super bantamweight challenger

Tszyu TKO6 Fundora: I think it’s going to be a bit awkward for the first couple of rounds. But then I think Tim starts to find his range and finds his distance.

He walks him down and gets the stoppage in between the sixth and eighth rounds. Let’s go Timmy.

Paul Fleming, Olympian and former world rated super featherweight

Tszyu W12 Fundora: I think Tszyu wins by close decision.

Conor Wallace, world rated light heavyweight

Tszyu KO4 Fundora: I reckon it will be an interesting fight early. Fundora likes to stand and trade, which I think is a very bad idea against Tim.

I think Tim makes a statement and knocks Fundora out between rounds four and six.

Will Tomlinson, former super featherweight titleholder and promoter

Tszyu KO7 Fundora: I think Tszyu gets a knockout in the mid-to-late rounds. It might take him a few rounds to work out that awkward range from Fundora. But once he does, he’ll be too strong, too smart and too accurate.

Tony Tolj, promoter and manager

Tszyu W12 Fundora: Fundora is a much more difficult fight in my opinion than Thurman. I believe Tim will adapt, overcome and still be victorious as he rises to the challenge.

Matt Clark, manager

Tszyu TKO7 Fundora: I like Tszyu by stoppage. I see Tim chopping the body, and eventually getting to Fundora sometime around the midway point of the bout.

Rohan Murdock, former world rated super middleweight

Tszyu KO6 Fundora: I see Fundora starting fast, hard, and competitive. But Tszyu will break him down mid-fight and finish him with a highlight reel knockout from rounds six to eight. It’ll be a huge win for Australian boxing.