Australia’s most anticipated fistic showdown in years has an American streaming home.
Former welterweight world champion and Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff “The Hornet” Horn will face Tim Tszyu in a 10-round junior middleweight bout Wednesday, Aug. 26, at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, Australia. A socially distanced crowd of more than 16,000 fans are expected for Horn-Tszyu, which will headline a special edition of Breakfast and Boxing exclusively on ESPN+ (5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT).
Horn (20-2-1, 13 KOs), from Brisbane, toppled Pacquiao in July 2017 via unanimous decision to win the WBO welterweight world title. Horn-Pacquiao, the Top Rank on ESPN series premier, peaked at 4.4 million viewers. Horn defended his title once before losing via ninth-round stoppage to Terence “Bud” Crawford in June 2018. He is 2-1 since the Crawford loss, most recently splitting a pair of action classics against countryman Michael Zerafa in 2019.
Tszyu (15-0, 11 KO), the Sydney-born son of legendary former world champion Kostya Tszyu, returns from a nearly nine-month layoff. He graduated from prospect to contender in 2019, closing out the year in December with a fourth-round TKO over Jack Brubaker that streamed live on ESPN+.
“In my career, what I’ve accomplished and what I’m doing, my dad doesn’t play much of a role. I do my own stuff,” Tszyu told ESPN recently. “He taught me one thing and that’s work ethic, because of that I am who I am. If you want to succeed you have to put in the work.
“I’m proud of what my dad achieved. He’s the greatest boxer in Australian and Russian sports history. I do everything that he’s done. There’s a blueprint. If I could do half of what he did, I’m going to be a great in this sport.”
The Horn-Tszyu stream will also include unbeaten junior lightweight prospect Liam Wilson (6-0, 4 KOs) against Jackson Woods (4-1-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-rounder, former Australian 154-pound champion Joel Camilleri (18-6-1, 8 KOs) versus Adam Copland (5-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round middleweight bout, and Australian middleweight prospect Issac “The Headsplitter” Hardman (6-0, 5 KOs ) against seven-year veteran Jamie Weetch (12-3, 5 KOs) in a six-rounder.
Lewis Crocker-Louis Greene Headlines #MTKFightNight Following Horn-Tszyu
The action continues Wednesday on ESPN+ at 2 p.m. ET, as MTK Global returns with a closed-door card from Production Park Studios in Wakefield, England. In the 10-round main event, Belfast’s Lewis “The Croc” Crocker will battle Louis Greene for the vacant WBO European welterweight title.
Crocker (11-0, 6 KOs) is making his headlining debut in his first scheduled 10-round assignment. He last fought Feb. 1 at Belfast’s historic Ulster Hall, where he notched an eight-round decision over John Thain. Greene (12-1, 7 KOs) has won three fights in a row since a unanimous decision defeat to Larry Ekundayo for the IBF European welterweight title.
In other action on the Crocker-Greene stream, British and Commonwealth bantamweight champion Lee McGregor (8-0, 6 KOs) moves up to junior featherweight to fight Ryan Walker (11-1, 2 KOs) in a 10-rounder; junior welterweight prospect Gary Cully (10-0, 5 KOs) takes on Craig Woodruff (10-5, 4 KOs) in an eight-round junior welterweight tilt; middleweight Fearghus Quinn turns pro in a six-rounder against Robbie Chapman (6-3, 0 KOs); and Darren Tetley (20-0, 9 KOs) fights Liam Taylor (21-1-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round British welterweight title eliminator.
August 23: Kazakh Amateur Superstar to Make Pro Debut at Cruiserweight
MTK Global presents a special Sunday show live from Almaty, Kazakhstan, which will showcase the professional debut of former Kazakh amateur superstar Kamshybek Kunkabayev. The two-time World Championships silver medalist (2017 & 2019), will make his professional debut in an eight-round cruiserweight bout against Issa Akberbayev (20-1, 15 KOs). Kunkabayev also won a pair of Asian Championships silver medals, while Akberbayev, a 6-foot-3 puncher who currently resides in Almaty, hopes to rebound from his first career defeat.
The scheduled five-fight stream kicks off on ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT and also includes:
- Lightweight contender Viktor Kotochigov (11-0, 4 KOs), who defended the WBC International belt last December, will fight Belarusian veteran Andrei Isayeu (30-17, 9 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
- In an eight-round junior middleweight bout, 2019 Asian Championships gold medalist and 2019 World Championships bronze medalist Tursynbay Kulakhmet will make his pro debut against former amateur star Sagadat Rakhmankul (6-1, 4 KOs), who has won three consecutive fights since his lone pro defeat.
- In an eight-round clash of undefeated middleweights, Abay Tolesh (5-0, 3 KOs) will take on southpaw Saparbay Aidarov (4-0, 2 KOs).
- Nurtas Azhbenov (9-0, 4 KOs), who has won three of his last four via first-round stoppage, will fight Shovkat Khalilov (7-2, 1 KO) in an eight-rounder at junior welterweight.
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