SYDNEY, Australia — There was no verbal jousting nor any fabricated push and shove for the dozens of cameras gathered around them. But after Tim Tszyu had stood face-to-face with Takeshi Inoue, a cheeky half smile crept across his face. It was as if he already knew the outcome of Wednesday night’s fight.
On Tuesday afternoon the pair weighed-in at Sydney’s Star Casino for their highly anticipated 10 round super welterweight showdown. Tszyu (19-0, 15 KOs) notched 69.52kg, while a visibly ripped Inoue (17-1-1, 10 KOs) tipped the scales at 69.68kg.
“You’ve got to enjoy yourself on fight week and the whole build up,” Tszyu said after weighing in. “It’s a good feeling once you’re on the scales and recharged [but] I’m coming for him and this fight only ends one way.
“For now I’m going to relax, stay nice and calm. I’ll watch a few movies and have a lot of rice and pasta.”
The undefeated Tszyu will fight Inoue for the WBO Global and Asia Pacific super welterweight titles, and victory over the Japanese fighter could see him close in on a maiden world title shot against WBO division belt holder Brian Castano — the man who fought and drew with unified titlist Jermell Charlo in July. But for that to happen, Tszyu knows he must be clinical and once again demonstrate his class to the world.
The fight with Inoue will mark the third time Tszyu has stepped into the ring in a COVID-19 marred 2021. The Australian first fought in March, overcoming talented Irishman Dennis Hogan in Newcastle. He was then scheduled to back up against Michael Zerafa, but an opponent change was made when the Victorian withdrew at the eleventh hour. Tszyu instead fought little known Steve Spark, flooring him inside three rounds.
Meanwhile, Inoue hasn’t fought in over 12 months. His last professional bout was in early November last year when he faced the relatively inexperienced Nath Nwachukwu, a fight which ended in Inoue’s hand being raised via unanimous decision.
“I’ll now just be recovering and relaxing,” said Inoue after stepping off the scales. “I feel confident that I can make this a really good fight. I do believe I will win by knockout.”
Wednesday night’s fight will take place at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, with the main card kicking off at 7pm local time.
Full card and official weights are listed here:
Tim Tszyu (69.52kg) vs. Takeshi Inoue (69.68kg) – (WBO Global and Asia Pacific super welterweight title)
Nath Nwachukwu (69.58kg) vs. Wade Ryan (69.54kg) – (IBO International super welterweight title)
Tommy Browne (69.96kg) vs. Dennis Hogan (69.92kg) – (super welterweight, fight by agreement*)
Koen Mazoudier (69.84kg) vs. Joel Camilleri (69.44kg) – (WBC Australasian super welterweight title)
Trent Girdham (62.90kg) vs. Alex Lual (62.58kg) – (super lightweight)
Darwin Sagurit (69.62kg) vs. Benjamin Hussian (69.72kg) – (super welterweight)
Shant Nercessian (92.50kg) vs. Jackson Murray (108.70kg) – (heavyweight)
Jacinta Austin (53.62kg) vs. Viviana Ruiz Corredor (53.52kg) – (bantamweight)
*Don’t forget to check back to ESPN on fight night as we bring you live round-by-round ringside coverage and the best reaction from Sydney.