There was no finish, but Tim Tszyu made a statement in a unanimous decision victory (98-93, 98-92, 97-93) over Dwight Ritchie on Wednesday (AEST).
A cut to the left eye of Ritchie threatened to put an early end to the super welterweight title bout, but the fighter out of Shepparton, Victoria just kept on coming.
Tszyu opened Ritchie up in the third round, and stayed in control from that point on.
In just his fourteenth professional bout, Tszyu (14-0-0) kept his composure and raised his level in the biggest test of his young career.
“I think it was a great experience,” Tszyu said post-fight. “Dwight is one hell of an opponent and kept me on my toes. He let me go somewhere that I haven’t been — something I can learn from, and can even get better.”
The win saw Tszyu, headlining his second Main Event pay-per-view, beat the man who was the No. 1 super welterweight in Australia, claim the WBO Global and IBF Australasian belts, and a potential top-5 world ranking.
But Ritchie was no easy beat.
“He was No. 1 in Australia for a reason,” Tszyu said. “All my respect to Dwight, he’s one hell of a competitor. I think his journey isn’t finished — it’s only just beginning.
“Same as mine. We’re both young, we’ve got a big future ahead. Maybe you know what, in the future, we can fight for a world title in Australia one day.”
Tszyu worked well behind his left jab, and had success with his right; especially with Ritchie’s left eye giving him trouble.
Ritchie stayed aggressive, knowing he probably needed a finish. And while things got messy at times, Tszyu did well to stay in command and execute when the opportunity presented itself.
As for what’s next, the 24-year-old kept his options open.
“It’s all up to my promoter, my team — they’ve got a roadmap ahead. I’m just here to fight and bring the big fights to Australia.”
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