Jordan Panthen, a sparring partner of Tim Tszyu, was shocked at how Tszyu’s fight with Sebastian Fundora played out Saturday in Las Vegas.

Panthen (7-0, 6 KOs) sparred Tszyu in advance of his own fight against Ravshan Hudaynazarov (19-5, 14 KOs) on Thursday. Watching Tszyu and Fundora slug it out for the unified junior middleweight title has added fuel to his own fire.

“That was a crazy fight, I was surprised it wasn’t stopped,” Panthen told Boxing Scene. “Just from the blood running into [Tszyu’s eyes], and he couldn’t see for 10 rounds. What a warrior he was – and what a great fight that was.” 

Panthen, a light middleweight, will take on Hudaynazarov at The Hanger in Costa Mesa, California, on a Triller TV pay-per-view. 

Panthen believes Tszyu was on course to win until the cut happened. 

“For me, it looked like in Round 2 you saw the fight going Tim Tszyu’s way pretty heavily,” Panthen said. “He is finding his mark, he is finding his timing. Then [the elbow] happened. It was accidental, but still an illegal blow on the top of the head – and that thing was just gushing.

“I know you have seen fights stopped for less – for legal blows – and that was an illegal blow. I am surprised it went the whole distance; and he couldn’t see for the rest of the fight. That was just flowing in his eye and mouth. It was like an indent in his head.”

Panthen, who has also said he wants to break Micky Ward’s record of three consecutive Fight of the Year awards, was inspired by Tszyu-Fundora. Panthen views himself as a Rocky Balboa figure – a fighter who will be in some hard fights, but who will outlast his opponents.

“I have a dream to be put in a certain moment where I know I will perform well,” he said. “I know I will perform better than the opposition, to where I excel. I want to be put [in that situation] and show out in that moment.”