Undefeated super welterweight boxer Tim Tszyu could have simply waited around and taken a shot at a title as the mandatory challenger for Brian Castano’s WBO belt. Instead, Tszyu will fight Takeshi Inoue in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday, aiming for even bigger goals in the division.
Tszyu comes in as a significant favorite in the bout, but the challenger says he’s coming to earn his own title shot.
Inoue: Tszyu ‘Made to order for me’
Inoue (17-1-1, 10 KOs) believes his size and experience could spell disaster for Tszyu.
“It will be a knockout,” Inoue told Fox Sports. “His guard is not so strong, so I think I can land a big punch on him. Another weakness he has is his lack of experience in fighting the bigger opponent and, physically, I think I’m bigger and stronger. I came to win this so I can challenge for the world title again.”
Inoue previously lost a super welterweight title fight to Jaime Munguia, dropping a one-sided unanimous decision back in 2019. On Monday, Inoue slightly walked back his comments, saying he meant no disrespect to Tszyu.
“It’s not that I’ve seen any weaknesses, but has to do with how my trainer has been working with me and he is very confident,” Inoue said at a press conference. “I have watched Tim Tszyu’s fights, I can see very clearly that in many ways he is made to order for me … Tim is an extraordinary opponent so I don’t expect it to be an easy fight.”
Tszyu (19-0, 15 KOs) already owns notable wins over the likes of Jeff Horn and Dennis Hogan. But Inoue represents a new type of challenge for the Australian.
“He’s dangerous, he’s got knockout power and he comes to fight,” Tszyu told ABC Sport in Australia. “You can hit him nonstop and he’s just going to keep coming. It always presents a dangerous challenge when you’ve got an opponent like that.”
Castano, Charlo dominate super welterweight division
Tszyu comes into the fight as a -1200 favorite over Inoue (+700) according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Despite Inoue’s pedigree, the oddsmaker expects Tszyu to find a finish, rating him as a -280 pick to earn a KO or TKO.
Should Tszyu win, and especially if he can do so in style, he should get his shot at Castano. Looking further down the line, a fight like that could produce a challenge to unified champion Jermell Charlo, who Castano has already fought to a draw.
|Tim Tszyu vs. Takeshi Inoue Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook)|
|Tim Tszyu: -1200||Takeshi Inoue: +700|
|Method of Victory|
|Tszyu by KO/TKO: -280||Inoue by KO/TKO: +1200|
|Tszyu by Decision: +275||Inoue by Decision: +1600|
For now, Tszyu is focusing on Inoue and the challenge in front of him.
“You’ve got to enjoy yourself on fight week and the whole buildup,” Tszyu said after the weigh-in. “It’s a good feeling once you’re on the scales and recharged, [but] I’m coming for him and this fight only ends one way.”