Tim Tszyu dominates Takeshi Inoue, inches closer to title fight

Tim Tszyu celebrates after defeating Japan's Takeshi Inoue. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

SYDNEY, Australia -- Rising light middleweight star Tim Tszyu has taken another giant leap towards a maiden world title fight against Argentine Brian Castano.

Tszyu, the son of boxing legend Kostya, turned in a commanding performance against Japan's Takeshi Inoue at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena on Wednesday evening to remain undefeated at 20-0 (15 KOs).

The fight was widely viewed as significantly risky for Tszyu, who had put his mandatory title challenger status on the line in a bid to maintain fitness and conditioning. Had he been beaten by Inoue, a fight against Castano would have almost certainly been taken off the table.

But Tszyu's camp needn't have been concerned. Their man bossed the No. 6 ranked fighter from Tokyo, sending a message to the rest of the division that he is a serious threat for any belt.

Tszyu's trademark body shots completely flummoxed Inoue, while his power and precision was once again on full display. But to Inoue's credit, he continued to hang in there, overcoming a number of hefty blows to ultimately force the judges to give Tszyu the result, via unanimous decision (120-107, 120-107, 119-108).

"The guy's built like a brick wall," Tszyu said after the fight. "[You can] hit him with anything and he won't go down. Hats off to him. Even heavyweights wouldn't drop him. Wow, what a warrior.

"[Going 12 rounds] was the best thing that could have happened. I didn't feel s---, I was just having a good time."

Tszyu has now prevailed in all three of his 2021 fights. He first overcame former title challenger Dennis Hogan in March before dominating little known Steve Spark, who had stepped in at the eleventh-hour in place of Michael Zerafa, four months later.

It's now likely a date with the undefeated Castano will be set for next year where Tszyu will have the opportunity to fight for WBO supremacy.

"You boys finish your little honeymoons and get back in the gym and start training," Tszyu said when asked about a potential title fight with Castano or Jermell Charlo. "I'm coming for all of you. Every single one of you.

"Honestly, I think that was the best thing that could've happened, getting a good 12 rounds in before I hit the big-time."

Earlier in the night, Wade Ryan took down Nath Nwachukwu to secure the International super welterweight title, while Irishman Dennis Hogan earned his first win in three years, defeating Tommy Browne by unanimous decision. Koen Mazoudier and Trent Girdham also earned wins on the undercard.

You can find our live coverage from the fight night in Sydney below. Please note, if the blog doesn't load on the first attempt, please refresh the page.