The June 18 card due to take place in Queensland’s Gold Coast endured two hits over the weekend, one which could greatly impact the event as a whole.
BoxingScene.com has learned that Tim Tszyu was forced to undergo emergency surgery to treat a severe cut on his right arm he suffered over the weekend. The severity of the injury and the recovery process are not immediately know, though the developed comes just three weeks prior to Tszyu’s planned interim WBO junior middleweight title defense versus Mexico’s Carlos Ocampo.
“Tim Tszyu was treated by the team doctor and surgeon on Saturday afternoon for a laceration on his right forearm,” Glenn Jennings, Tszyu’s career-long manager, confirmed on Monday, although he didn’t specify the cause. “The wound was superficial. The post surgical report is all good.
“There is no doubt that Tim will be ready and 100% healthy and focused to take on Carlos Ocampo on June 18.”
Varying reports from Australia have not definitively pinpointed how Tszyu suffered the injury, though Fox Sports Australia reported—citing sources—that it was caused by a dog bite.
For now, the show will move forward as the scheduled twelve-round bout will headline a Pay-Per-View event in Australia which will also air live on Showtime in the U.S. from Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland.
“Like everyone, I was shocked and worried when I first heard the news,” George Rose, Tszyu’s promoter and CEO of No Limit Boxing, said of the incident in question. “It’s certainly not the ideal preparation anytime a fighter ends up in hospital a few weeks out from world title fight but the best news right now is that Tim is doing ok.
“He has the best and most experienced team around him in world boxing. They have reassured me he’ll be more than ready on June 18 to take on Ocampo. If they’re confident, I’m confident.”
One fighter confirmed to no longer appear on the show is Australia’s Liam Wilson. The recent junior lightweight title challenger suffered an undisclosed training camp injury which forced him to withdraw from a planned bout versus Mexico’s Eduardo Ramirez. The bout was due to be the first for Wilson since his ninth-round stoppage at the hands of Emanuel Navarrete in their thrilling vacant WBO junior lightweight title fight on February 3 in Glendale, Arizona.
Assuming the event moves forward, Tszyu (22-0, 16KOs) will make the first defense of the interim WBO 154-pound title he claimed in a ninth-round knockout of former WBC junior middleweight titlist Tony Harrison on March 12 in Sydney. That bout was put together after Tszyu—the son of Hall of Fame former 140-pound king Kostya Tszyu—was forced to wait out a mandatory shot at undisputed junior middleweight king Jermell Charlo who continues to recover from a broken hand injury suffered last December.
The WBO approved Tszyu-Harrison as an interim title fight and also granted permission for Tszyu to make a stay-busy title defense versus Ocampo, who only recently entered the sanctioning body’s Top 15 rankings at the weight.
The show will also include a terrific IBF junior featherweight title eliminator between New South Wales’ Sam Goodman (14-0, 7KOs) and top American contender Ra’eese Aleem (20-0, 12KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox