Horn vs Tszyu will more than likely be in Queensland says Lonergan
New Zealand Fighter caught up with legendary kiwi promoter Dean Lonergan for an upcoming article on the life of a promoter and the events he has coming up over the next year, but also managed to get the inside word on the fight everyone's talking about across the ditch, Jeff Horn vs Tim Tszyu. When quizzed on the chances the fight would wind up in Queensland, Lonergan said they were "pretty strong" going on to say "I'm not gonna give Tim Tszyu any opportunity to have home town advantage, in the contract we get the right to pick the location, so the fact is it'll more than likely be in Queensland."
"I think audiences have a massive influence on the judges" said Lonergan "so if we come down here at Spark Arena with Joe Parker, every time Joe scores a shot on Andy Ruiz the crowd cheers, every time Ruiz lands a shot they don't... that influences the judges... Jeff Horn is an icon in Queensland and, whether it's Brisbane or Townsville, nobody there is gonna be cheering for Tim Tszyu the blue." News Corp Australia reported earlier this week that Townsville was the preferred location for Tourism Queensland.
Lonergan didn't mince his words about the up and coming son of legendary Aussie boxer Kostya Tszyu either "Tim Tszyu has been playing at Under 18 level and now he's stepping up to State of Origin" comes the analogy from the former league legend "I think the biggest problem in this fight will be handling the pressure that Jeff Horn brings, he's so far fought a whole lot of Sydney club fighters, guys that stood at the right distance, showed Tim too much respect and all he did was stand and fight."
Tszyu is strongly favoured by bookmakers at the time of writing this article, though as Lonergan points out he doesn't have the experience of his famous father. "I think he's a lovely young man, this is his chance to step up..." explains Lonergan "but Jeff Horn is right, we wouldn't have given him this fight if his last name wasn't Tszyu, the difference between Tim and Kostya though is probably about 270 amateur fights, Kostya had maybe 300 amateur fights, Tim's had maybe 30 with a break, he's not the fighter his father was and I think we're gonna find that out on April 22nd."
Tszyu is currently 15-0 as a professional with 11 knockouts, though mostly against largely unheralded opponents with his toughest opposites coming in the form of Joel Camilleri and Jack Brubaker, whilst Horn has faced off against some of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, famously scoring an underdog victory over Manny Pacquiao to win the WBO World Welterweight title before losing his title in a stoppage loss at the hands of Terrence Crawford.
Lonergan didn't completely write off the undefeated 25 year old though, saying "Then again, people step up to the plate, let's wait and see... Kevin Barry's the first to say that maybe we've seen that Jeff Horn is about as good as he's gonna get, I would beg to differ though in so much as if Jeff Horn comes to this fight fit he's really really hard to beat."
He also commented on the odds of Horn seeing another world title opportunity, saying "If Jeff Horn wins this fight I'll be talking in the background trying to make the next one a world title but... realistically probably one more after that."
Watch this space over the next few days for our full interview with Dean Lonergan.