Undefeated Australian superstar Tim Tszyu will return to fight in front of his hometown fans when he takes on former world champion Tony “Superbad” Harrison for the vacant Interim WBO 154-pound title headlining action live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, March 11 (Sunday, March 12 in Australia) from Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL telecast begins at 10:45 p.m. ET/7:45 p.m. PT and features Tszyu, the son of former unified champion Kostya Tszyu, as he looks for a career-best victory against the veteran former champion Harrison. Undisputed Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo will join host Brian Custer, Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and three-division world champion Abner Mares at the CBS Studios in New York City as a special guest. Hall of Famer Steve Farhood serves as unofficial scorer.
Tszyu had originally been scheduled to face Charlo in a January clash before Charlo was forced to withdraw due to injury. Harrison, who arrived in Australia this week, has his own history with Charlo, having won his world title by defeating Charlo in 2018, before dropping their rematch. Now, the winner on March 11 will put themselves in prime position to not only face Charlo, but to become an undisputed world champion. The event is promoted by No Limit Boxing and The Rose Brothers, in association with TGB Promotions.
“Tim Tszyu and Tony Harrison have both sought out the biggest challenges in the stacked 154-pound division and that continues on March 11 live on SHOWTIME from Australia,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Wildly popular in his home country, Tszyu will have the home crowd edge, but this is precisely the kind of challenge that brings out the best in a fighter like Harrison. The 154-pound division has delivered classic fight, after classic fight, and March 11 certainly shapes up to be the next chapter in that story.”
The 28-year-old Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) has quickly climbed the rankings in the 154-pound division with an all-action, aggressive style. The notable names on his resume include former welterweight champion Jeff Horn, whom Tszyu stopped in round eight, and Terrell Gausha, a top contender and member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. A native of Sydney, Australia, Tszyu made his US. and SHOWTIME debut against Gausha and showed his poise and toughness by rallying back from a first-round knockdown to win the fight via unanimous decision. Tszyu grew up playing soccer, but soon gravitated toward boxing. The decision led to him following in the legendary footsteps of his father, Kostya, who was an undisputed 140-pound champion and who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011.
“I can’t underestimate Tony Harrison, but with the way I’ve been training, I’m extremely confident that I’m going to give my fans a big KO victory,” said Tszyu. “Full credit to him for taking the challenge and coming to Australia, but he’s going home empty-handed. It’s exciting that my fans in the U.S. will be able to watch this matchup on SHOWTIME and I hope they’re ready to see a great atmosphere and a thrilling fight.”
The fighting pride of Detroit, Mich., Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs) spent his early boxing career under the tutelage of the late Emanuel Steward in the legendary Kronk Gym. As a professional, the 32-year-old is still considered one of the most skilled fighters in the sport. Despite coming up short in his first two attempts at a world title, the third time was the charm for Harrison, who shocked the boxing world in December 2018 by outpointing Jermell Charlo to earn the WBC title. Their rematch one year later ranks among the best fights of 2019. Harrison and Charlo fought on even terms until Charlo stopped him in the eleventh round to regain the belt. Harrison returned to the ring for the first time since that fight in April 2021, fighting Bryant Perrella to a draw and most recently, dominated Sergio Garcia on his way to a unanimous decision victory in April 2022.
“I’m here on a mission,” said Harrison. “My only focus is on Tim Tszyu. I’m extremely confident in my abilities and in my training, but I know Tim is going to be tough competition. I can’t wait to see the crowd all out there to support him, because I’m going to give them no choice but to love me too. I hope he’s ready for 12 grueling rounds, because I’m ready to go as long as he can last.”