Aussie boxing closes out the year with a bang this Wednesday as rising superstar Tim Tszyu takes on the tough Bowyn Morgan in what should be a fun, uptempo fight from Bankwest Stadium in New South Wales. Tszyu looks to continue his ascent to international acclaim while Morgan attempts to play spoiler.
Also on the undercard is the high-octane heavyweight battle between Sydney native Paul Gallen and former UFC star, and fellow hometown boy, Mark Hunt. Both matchups offer quite a bit of intrigue and a number of interesting betting scenarios. Let’s dig in a little deeper into what is sure to be a fun night of fights all around.
Tim Tszyu (16-0, 12 KOs) announced his presence on the world stage this past September with a decisive one-sided beatdown of fellow Aussie Jeff Horn. Heading into that contest, Tszyu was a bit of an unknown quantity, at least at the upper echelons of the sport. A growing highlight reel of impressive knockouts certainly demonstrated his power, but did so against low-level competition, to say the least. With his eight round trouncing of Horn, Tszyu proved he shares far more than just a name with his famous father.
Tszyu is a dynamic fighter who throws punches from multiple angles with devastating power. Against Horn, Tsyzu used his formidable 72” reach to slice and dice from the outside, winning nearly every round on his way to an eighth round TKO victory. When he steps into the ring against Bowyn Morgan this coming Wednesday, that reach advantage will be even more pronounced, to the tune of nearly six inches. That may not sound like much outside of a boxing ring, but inside it may as well be a country mile.
Bowyn Morgan (21-1, 11 KOs) will be in with far and away his most skilled competition to date. Fighting mostly out of his native Christchurch, Morgan has built up an impressive record, albeit against limited opposition. You can only beat the man in front of you however, and Morgan has proven himself very durable in doing just that. He enters his fight against Tszyu with the added motivation that can only come from being a heavy underdog. A chip on his shoulder and the will to prove he’s more than just a stepping stone on Tszyu’s path to stardom will take him places that mere skill sometimes cannot.
Ultimately, this fight will come down to a battle of Morgan’s toughness against Tszyu’s considerable punching power. Tszyu’s length will pose a huge problem for Morgan as taking the fight inside will be his only hope of muting that power. In attempting to do so, he’ll have to put himself directly into the path of Tszyu’s twin buzzsaw attack. That’s a tough ask for anyone but even more so for a fighter who’s been out of action for over a year like Morgan has. It’s always tempting to root for a motivated underdog but there are simply too many factors lined up against Morgan here. Expect Tszyu to continue his rise to international prominence and to look spectacular in doing so.
A very intriguing matchup on the Tsyzu/Morgan undercard pits former UFC knockout artist Mark Hunt against rugged Aussie fighter Paul Gallen. This scintillating heavyweight matchup puts Hunt’s power up against Gallen’s experience in a fascinating six round pick em’ fight. This one will come down to intangibles and, boy, are there a number of them.
Mark Hunt (0-1-1) hasn’t set foot in a traditional boxing ring since April of 2000. Before that, his only other professional boxing match came in August of 1998. He walked away from those two bouts with a loss and a draw, respectively. That’s the bad news. The good news is that in the ensuing years he pivoted to mixed martial arts in UFC where he participated in 28 bouts, winning 10 by Knockout. Though the last of those stoppages occurred nearly four years ago, a reputation as something of a knockout artist follows him to this day. At 46 years old, it remains to be seen if that power will follow him back to traditional boxing. Power, as they say, is the last thing to go, and Hunt will need it to fend off Gallen’s far deeper well of experience.
Paul Gallen (9-0, 5 KOs) comes into this fight as a marginal betting underdog and that will only serve to motivate him as he takes on the most non-traditional of opponents. At 39 years of age, Gallen is no spring chicken himself, but will have a significant age advantage over Hunt. The name of the game for Gallen will simply be staying out of Hunt’s punching range. If he can keep his far less experienced opponent on the move while potshotting from the outside, this should be an easy night at the office for Gallen. That’s a lot to ask for a 225 lb man but with nearly two decades away from traditional boxing, Hunt may be sucking air before the first bell sounds. The oddsmakers favor Hunt while sporting logic would seem to favor Gallen. If Gallen stays on his feet for all 18 minutes, he likely takes this fight. It says here that he does just that.
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