By Craig Daly: Brian Mendoza says he absolutely wants to knock out Tim Tszyu to rip his WBO junior middleweight title away from him on Saturday night in Australia. Mendoza believes that Tszyu is cocky, over-confident, and looking past him after his recent wins.
It’s not that Mendoza (22-2, 16 KOs) doesn’t trust the judges, but rather, it’s his way of winning fights by not allowing his opponents to hang around to hear the final bell. Brian’s power has seemingly gotten better recently, and still improving his game at 29.
In his last fight, he destroyed WBC interim 154-lb champion Sebastian Fundora in seven rounds last April to put himself in a position to challenge for a world title against champion Jermell Charlo. But instead of a fight with Jermell happening, Mendoza has been selected by the brave of heart Tszyu for a title shot.
Just as well because Jermell would likely vacate his WBC title if the sanctioning body were to order him to face Mendoza.
With a fighter with the kind of power that Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs) possesses, it’s a good idea for Mendoza to make sure he scores a knockout because he hits too hard to leave him out there for the full twelve rounds.
Besides that, there’s always the possibility of a controversial decision, and Mendoza would obviously not be on the receiving end of one of those.
Tszyu will defend against Mendoza this Saturday, October 14th, at the Gold Coast Convention Centre, Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia. The fight event will be shown on Showtime Boxing at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Mendoza wants KO victory
“I don’t look for decisions if that’s a good example,” said Brian Mendoza to Broadway Joel when asked if he’s looking for a knockout of Tim Tszyu on Saturday.
“Whenever I’m in there, I have power, and I’m able to let go of it just naturally. I let it flow. I’m more of a guy who thinks if the knockout comes, it comes, but when I’m in there, I’m going to just put punishment on you, and however long you want that to last, it’s kind of on you,” said Mendoza.
Why Mendoza can defeat Tszyu:
- Better puncher with either hand
- More motivation to win
- Counter-punching ability
“I’m in there to hurt people when I’m in there,” said Mendoza. “There’s never no, ‘Okay, I’m going to box, move and try to get this decision.’ I never do that. So that’s why I always say you can expect fireworks, and I don’t mean that as a cliche. ‘Oh, it’s going to be a great fight.’
“I’m bringing fireworks, that’s for sure. The way styles match up, I kind of don’t see a decision coming this way,” said Mendoza when told that Tszyu is a big puncher as well. The way our styles line up, I don’t see a decision happening. So, I definitely see this ending before the 12th round,” said Mendoza.
Tszyu’s quick first-round knockout victory over Carlos Ocampo last June may have gone to his head, as his attitude seems to have changed from being a humble, free-from-vanity sort to that of an old salt who has been around forever, winning in the trenches.
It’s unclear if Tszyu has been hanging around George Kambosos Jr. or what, but he doesn’t seem like the same guy.
Tszyu’s flaws will be exploited
“I just feel like there are certain adjustments that I can make and certain holes in his game, little flaws here and there,” said Mendoza about Tszyu. “I know he says the same thing. I’ve seen a couple of interviews where he’s kind of blowing me off.
Terrell Gausha already exposed the holes in Tszyu’s game last year, knocking him down and coming close to beating him. What we witnessed in that fight was Tszyu’s defense being nearly nonexistent and showed vulnerability to Gausha’s counter-punching.
If Mendoza lands the same shots that Gausha did on Tszyu, it’s going to be an early night on Saturday. Tszyu won’t be able to stand up to that kind of firepower from Mendoza without dropping for the ten count.
“He’s [Tszyu] like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s real basic,‘ this and that, but that’s what a lot of my opponents have thought, and I keep proving time in and time out that I’m not just a power puncher. I repeat that over and over,” said Mendoza about a comment that Tszyu made about him.
See what I mean? Tszyu has become smug after his recent wins, and it’s like his feet are no longer touching solid ground with self-confidence. What happened to the old, humble, self-effacing Tim that we knew before his knockout victories over the old-timer Tony Harrison and the hapless Ocampo?
“I kept saying that from the [Sebastian] Fundora fight because they kept saying that I hit hard, and that’s cool and all this and that, but I keep repeating I’m not just a power puncher,” said Mendoza.
“I set these shots up, I take my time, I find them, and then I just make it happen. That’s the reason these knockouts are happening. I’m not just swinging for the fences,” said Mendoza.