Tim Tszyu kept his unbeaten record and made a successful U.S. debut, beating Terrell Gausha by unanimous decision in Minneapolis, though the scores were closer than most of us thought they should have been, and the Aussie did have to overcome early adversity.
Tszyu (21-0, 15 KO) was dropped on a good counter right hand in the first round, as Gausha (22-3-1, 11 KO) did appear to have Tszyu timed nicely very early, catching him stepping in with some stiff jabs even before that happened.
But Tszyu turned the fight around from there, did progressive damage, and just out-worked Gausha for much of the fight. Scores came back narrow at 114-113, 115-112, and 116-111, while Bad Left Hook had it 119-108 for Tszyu, seeing him winning every round after Gausha’s 10-8 opening frame.
The scoring is questionable, but the outcome is not. Tszyu proved himself capable here, and took a good step up in opposition against the 34-year-old Gausha, a former Olympian who can handle himself at top level and definitely gave Tszyu things to think about throughout, landing counter shots until the very end.
But it was Tszyu’s physicality and come-forward pressure that dictated the fight, as Gausha wound up stuck on the ropes far more than he wanted, and there were times referee Mark Nelson seemed he was ready to step in, though those came in the middle rounds.
“It was good to face adversity for the first time, and I was able to come back. I dug deep, and all respect to my opponent, he’s a hell of a warrior and a true gentleman,” Tszyu said. “It was a flash knockdown, perfect timing. He’s a former Olympian, he’s got great credentials. That’s a great lesson for myself. I got back up and I dug deep.”
Tszyu said he is open to fighting the winner of the Jermell Charlo vs Brian Castano rematch coming on May 14.
“I felt I had him in trouble, I tried to jump on him, but he’s a tough, tough fuckin’ fighter,” Gausha said. “He pressed the action, that’s what he does. I knew he’d come like that, and we trained hard for that. I hope I gave the fans a great show. I put my heart out there, so I’m happy with it. I hate losing, but I went out like a champion.”
Tszyu vs Gausha highlights
Michel Rivera UD-10 Joseph Adorno
Right guy won, scores were 97-93 across the board. Bad Left Hook had it slightly closer at 96-94.
This wasn’t the most inspiring performance on either side. The commentators noted that the two are friendly outside of the ring, and Abner Mares promised us that this “goes out the window” once the fight starts. But we’ve all seen plenty of fights with guys who are friendly outside of the ring, and they often fail to ever spark, and turn into overly cautious sparring-style contest. That’s kind of what we got here.
Rivera (23-0, 14 KO) used his good jab and controlled the tempo and distance of the fight well enough that it’s hard to say Adorno (14-1-2, 12 KO) had any real argument here. Adorno just did not let his hands go enough, which is an easy criticism but one that really is true here, and his corner tried to tell him that over and over, with specific instructions on what to use, what to try, etc. Not saying it’s easy to just go do it by any means, but it cost him the fight. This was winnable for him if he’d been more active.
It’s also the third straight fight without a win for Adorno, who had a pair of disappointing draws in his prior two contests, one with a club fighter and one with Jamaine Ortiz, where Adorno scored two knockdowns but had otherwise been out-boxed and had to settle for the majority draw. At 22, he’s young enough to put it together and come through, still be the guy it was previously hoped he could be, but maybe it’s just not there.
As for Rivera, he’s not exactly burning a Ghost Rider-esque path into the lightweight top 10, but he’s on the radar, and he’s got a good team behind him with PBC.
Elvis Rodriguez KO-7 Juan Velasco
I think Top Rank may have cut bait too early on Rodriguez (12-1-1, 11 KO), who looked sharp again tonight, winning his second straight following that majority decision loss to Kenneth Sims Jr about 10 months ago. He stopped Juan Pablo Romero in five last November, and now gets Velasco (23-3, 14 KO) out in seven in this one.
Rodriguez, 26, still looks like a potential contender at 140. Yeah, he lost a fight to a pretty solid opponent, but losing an early fight is one thing, losing and learning from it and getting better is another. So far, two fights later, Rodriguez looks like he’s learned from it, and at the very least it definitely hasn’t ruined him.
Rodriguez mostly dominated here, and dropped a very game Velasco three times in the seventh round. Velasco basically fought until he knew his body had no more left, and took the 10 count when dropped the third time.