Tim Tszyu vs. Terrell Gausha: Make or Break

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It's a classic battle between rising star and determined veteran as Tim Tszyu and Terrell Gausha square off in a 154-pound main event Saturday night in a PBC on SHOWTIME event.

This Saturday, March 26 live on SHOWTIME in a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Armory in Minneapolis, rising second generation star Tim Tszyu (20-0, 15 KOs) makes his much-anticipated US debut against U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (22-2-1, 11 KOs) in a 12-round super welterweight contest. 

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) will feature undefeated lightweight Michel Rivera against fellow unbeaten contender Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno in a 10-round co-main event. To open the show, heavy-handed super lightweight contender Elvis Rodríguez meets Juan José Velasco in a 10-round battle.

The Story

Tszyu, the son of Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, has been making a name for himself in his native Australia. With an all-action style and a charismatic ring presence, the 27-year-old is ready for superstardom and is now making his long-anticipated debut in the deep waters of the U.S. fight scene.

Looking dominant in high-water mark wins over Dennis Hogan, Takeshi Inoue, and former world champ Jeff Horn, Tszyu appears set for a run at a world title. 

Terrell Gausha hopes to be the roadblock to the young star’s rise to the top. In his last three bouts, he’s crushed Jamontay Clark in two rounds, dropped a unanimous decision to Erickson Lubin, and scored a draw with former world champ Austin Trout.

The 34-year-old Cleveland-born Gausha feels that this is his time to make a run at a world title and that a win over Tszyu in this high-profile bout will be the perfect springboard to that end.

The Stakes

Tszyu is looking to make a statement on the world stage and earn recognition as an elite-level talent.

For Gausha, this Tszyu bout is a chance to make a statement and to make his own grab at a world title shot. 

The Matchup

Tszyu is a come-forward pressure fighter with supreme confidence in his offensive capabilities. His quick right hand is an extremely potent weapon and it can cause damage from any angle thrown. The left uppercut is also a potential fight-stopper. His best offensive asset, however, could be his body attack. In just about every one of his high-profile victories, a thudding left to his opponent’s body has been a prominent factor. 

There are some defensive lapses in the second-generation star’s game and he has been touched fairly often by even some lower-level opposition. That weakness could come directly from his confidence and the knowledge that taking a shot in order to land a shot has always been a winning proposition for him. This mindset, though, could backfire against next-level opposition with high-end defensive and/or offensive capabilities. 

Gausha has high-end skills with legitimate seasoning under the tutelage of some top boxing minds. He has got a solid jab that can alternate between a prod and a flick. He’s also fairly quick-handed with sound reflexes. The straight right hand is probably his best offensive weapon, although he has an assortment of right-handed shots that can be used effectively. 

From the first second when the fight starts, my objective is to take him out. Undefeated Super Welterweight Contender - Tim Tszyu

Cautious and calculated by nature, Gausha can often be too cautious and calculated. Lack of punch output has been the bane of his ring existence and, likely, the biggest factor standing between him and next-level success. 

Defensively, Gausha is solid, but not as solid as one would think for such a highly-skilled fighter. He can be touched when not entirely focused on his high-guard defense. 

The Words

Tim Tszyu

“I’m coming to fight and I’m coming to win. From the first second when the fight starts, my objective is to take him out. Every second of every round, I’m going to be in front of my opponent’s face.

“It’s a big deal for me to be in this position headlining on SHOWTIME. You dream of it as a kid, and now for it to actually be happening, it’s unreal. We’re here to make statements.”

Terrell Gausha

“He’s a one-trick pony. What you see is what you get. He doesn’t do too many things spectacularly, but what he does do well, he does it very well, and that’s bring the pressure. We have something ready for that and we’re going to do our thing no matter what he tries to do.

“After everyone sees this performance on March 26, they’re going to know where I fit into this division. A win over Tszyu would be great for my career and get me to the world titles.”

The Breakdown

The big story this Saturday is Tszyu making his U.S. debut. An important side note, however, is the big step up in class he’s taking for this debut. 

Gausha, despite his inconsistencies and occasional lapses, represents the all-around most complete fighter Tszyu has faced to date and the most complicated tactical challenge presented to him thus far. His pedigree as a well-coached, well-traveled, accomplished boxer at both the amateur and professional level is legit. 

Up until now, Tszyu has faced opposition well-matched to his strengths. He'll have to think a lot more against Gausha and open up opportunities for himself. This matchup will reveal a lot about Tszyu’s world stage readiness. 

Gausha, meanwhile, will have to be supremely sharp and at his very best. Most importantly, he’ll have to let his hands go or face being overwhelmed.

Expect Tszyu to push forward, looking for kill shots as he usually does. It’ll be Gausha’s job to discourage and dissuade Tszyu’s aggression with smart movement and a focus on establishing the jab as keys. 

There is a path to victory for Gausha, but it’ll require focus, near-perfect execution, and tweaks to a mindset that has historically been more reactive than proactive. 

If Gausha can’t pull off the perfect plan, Tszyu will make an explosive American debut and immediately stake his claim to a spot among the elite of the super welterweight division. 

For a closer look at Tszyu vs Gausha, check out our fight night page. 

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