By Craig Daly: Tim Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) was forced to go the twelve round distance, winning a unanimous decision over the tough, steel-chinned challenger Brian Mendoza (22-3, 16 KOs) in an action-packed war from the start to finish on Saturday night in front of a loud pro-Tszyu crowd at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach, Australia.
Despite being outgunned by the stronger Tszyu, Mendoza did an excellent job of hanging tough and making adjustments that allowed him to go the survive the full twelve rounds without getting knocked out.
The scores were:
Mendoza hurt Tszyu with a shot to the body in the tenth that caused him to double over in pain. However, Tszyu pretended that he was hit low, which caused Mendoza to back off instead of going for the kill. It was an Academy Award acting job by Tszyu to pretend that he’d been hit low, as it was a clean shot.
Mendoza’s decision not to follow up after hurting Tszyu was a mistake on his part because as soon as he let off, Tszyu went after him, hitting him with shot after shot to the head body and had him close to being stopped. The referee gave Mendoza a break by not stepping in and halting the fight in the
Tszyu’s best rounds were the seventh & eleventh, as he had Mendoza hurt and in serious distress. In the seventh, Mendoza was worked over by Tszyu each time he would clinch. Tszyu took advantage of the situation to hammer Mendoza at point-blank range, hitting him many times in the back of the head.
After the seventh, Mendoza did a good job of avoiding clinching because he wasn’t going to allow Tszyu to take advantage of the situation to tag him.
In the twelfth round, Mendoza got his second wind and finished strong. He nailed Tszyu, hitting him with hard shots to the head & body that had him looking cautious.
That was easily the best round for Mendoza because he outboxed Tszyu and looked like the better fighter. If Mendoza had fought like that the entire contest, he would have won because he took advantage of Tszyu’s slow feet and battered him in the same way he did against Jeison Rosario.
After the fight, Tszyu said that he wanted to fight Jermell Charlo next, and he called him. Jermell just got a big payday against Canelo Alvarez, and he wants Terence Crawford. Fighting Tszyu is too risky, and the money wouldn’t be huge like it would be if Jermell can convince Crawford to face him.
The more likely option for Tszyu is someone like Erickson Lubin, who is coming off a big win over Jesus Ramos.