Venues across Australia that will be showing Australian boxer Tim Tszyu’s next fight have been given a boost after an injury to original opponent Keith Thurman saw Sebastian Fundora called up, meaning two world title belts are now on the line.

Thurman was forced out of the March 30 pay-per-view event after he suffered a bicep injury in training, but bad news turned good, when Fundora was announced as Thurman’s replacement. Fundora was on the under-card for the Tszyu-Thurman fight, due to fight Serhii Bohachukmost for the vacant WBC super welterweight title. The pair will now fight for that belt along with Tszyu’s WBO title, which was not part of the original Turman clash.

The change of this event to become a double-world championship fight, makes it a mouth-watering prospect for venue operators across the country, with Australia’s boxing fans sure to want to see if Tszyu can maintain his unbeaten record and become a double super welterweight world champion.

Karma Webb, Group Operations Illawarra and Shoalhaven for the O’Hara Group explained to Australian Hotelier how fights like this can help the group’s venues on what would otherwise be a quiet night and the great atmosphere they create in venues.

“Boxing is a great addition to our hotels especially at Warilla Hotel where we won best Sporting Entertainment venue at the AHA NSW Awards last year,” Webb said.

“It’s also great at our hotels that have a strong boxing following. Most fights are on a Wednesday or a Sunday which are typically quieter days so it brings people in and creates a great atmosphere in our sports bars. Our bar trade triples when the bigger fights are on or when a local is fighting.

“Tszyu has a great following and people love seeing Aussies fight and do well. We are showing the fight at six of our venues: Salamander Hotel, Tahmoor Inn, Berkeley Hotel, Warilla Hotel, Lake Illawarra Hotel and the North Nowra Tavern. We are expecting huge crowds in these venues on the day for Easter and for the fight.

“Fights like the Tszyu fight and also the Volkanovski fights in UFC draw huge crowds because Aussies love seeing Aussies fight. It also creates a fantastic atmosphere in venue and we always have the crowd clapping and cheering in the hotel as if they were ringside. These fights also contribute to tripling our normal Sunday trade.”

Fundora does present a very different challenge for Tszyu, with the American coming in 22cm taller than Tszyu and 26cm taller than the fighter Tszyu was prepping for in Thurman.

But Fundora, whose record is 20 wins, one draw, one loss and 13 Kos, lost his most recent fight to Brian Mendoza in April 2023, while Tszyu beat Mendoza by unanimous decision when the pair fought on the Gold Coast late last year.

Updated line-up for March 31 event:

  • Tszyu vs. Fundora – WBO & Vacant WBC Super Welterweight world titles
  • Rolando Romero vs. Isaac Cruz – WBA Super Lightweight world title
  • Erislandy Lara vs. Michael Zerafa – WBA Middleweight world title
  • Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Angelino Cordova – WBC Flyweight world title

The revised card for the Tszyu fight night is very exciting with five world title belts now up for grabs. So contact Foxtel Business on 1300 761 056, or head to the Foxtel Business website to set your venue up for an exciting night of boxing and earnings.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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