Former Champ Algieri Contends Tszyu’s Corner Could Have Intervened To Save Title

Former world super lightweight champion Chris Algieri believes Tim Tszyu could have been withdrawn in his fight with Sebastian Fundora by his corner, thus saving his WBO super welterweight title.

Tszyu boxed for 10 rounds through a bloody mask after his scalp was sliced open by the tip of Fundora’s elbow, accidentally, in an exchange at the end of round two. 

Tszyu had no quit in him, and afterwards said there was no way he was going to ask the referee Harvey Dock to pull him out, but Algieri suggested that was a decision for the corner. 

“He was fighting, he was willing to fight, Tszyu wanted to keep going, there was no quit in him at all, he showed he was a warrior, fighting through, but was that the right move?” Algieri told ProBox TV. “In my eyes, no. I think his team should have stepped in, gotten that fight stopped. 

“He came out on fire. First two rounds, looked fantastic. He gets cut at the end of the second round, very, very bad cut. We need the fight to go two more rounds so it can become ‘official’ [rather than be called a ‘no contest’], and it will go to a scorecard if it does get stopped due to an illegal blow, because it was an accidental illegal blow.”

Fundora, for his part, boxed a similar amount of time with a badly broken nose that also bled profusely throughout. But Tszyu had come off worst.

“Now his eyesight is hindered, rounds three and four, pretty close, hard to tell who is actually winning those rounds,” Algieri continued. “But if you stop that fight at the end of round four, his corner steps in and says, ‘Hey, our guy can’t see, this is too much,’ they will stop the fight. You say you can’t see, they will stop the fight. 

“Worst-case scenario, Tim Tszyu comes out with a draw and retains his title. You put in four rounds, you got a bad cut, but at least you’ve got your title – you can protect your title, or you might have won both titles.”

As it was, Tszyu lost his WBO title on a vacant split decision, and Fundora also collected the vacant WBC belt. 

In the ring afterwards Fundora was challenged by Errol Spence, and post-fight the new champion said he would like to fight Spence or Terence Crawford.

The WBO will likely strip Fundora if he opts for Spence, who stopped Algieri in 2015, which means Crawford and Tszyu could contest the vacant title – with Spence and Fundora fighting for the WBC.

“I think Spence and Fundora is going to be a fun fight,” Algieri added. “I think it’s two guys who like to fight on the inside, two guys who are big and strong for the weight class, two guys who like to trade shots and there are things that I saw, even in the Tszyu fight, that I could see Errol Spence being able to capitalize on [against Fundora]. 

“Fundora likes to fight on the inside but there are openings, there are opportunities for Tszyu to let his hands go, but he didn’t take. Errol will take those opportunities. I think it is a good fight. It just depends how much Errol has left.”