Tim Tszyu confirms November fight with Japan’s Takeshi Inoue, reveals why talks with Tony Harrison broke down

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Tim Tszyu (19-0) will continue his path towards a world title fight when he takes on Japanese boxer Takeshi Inoue (17-1-1) on Wednesday, November 17.

The fight will be held in Australia, with the venue set to be announced by promoters No Limit Boxing next week.

Fresh off being named the mandatory challenger for Brian Castano’s WBO world title belt, the Australian’s team surveyed eight countries to find an opponent and eventually landed the Japan fighter who is ranked No.7 in the world by the WBO, with his lone defeat coming by decision in a world title fight with then-champion Jamie Munguia in 2019.

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The 31-year-old Inoue goes into the event on a four fight winning streak and could strike a world title shot himself if he can get a win over Tszyu.

“He’s going to be the hardest test of my career,” Tszyu told Wide World of Sports.

“We wanted a world-rated opponent on the international level that was the best opportunity available. He’s going to be a tough challenger.

“If I want to compete on a world level, I’ve got to dispose of this guy.”

The announcement ends months of negotiations for Tszyu’s promoters, who’ve been working overtime to secure an opponent before the end of the year, in a bid to keep the undefeated star active. The Australian had been linked to several fighters, the most recent being former champion, Tony Harrison.

The fight was thought to be a done deal, however the American, who beat current WBC champion Jermell Charlo before losing the belt in a return bout in 2019, was reportedly slow to respond during negotiations, leading the Australian’s team to enforce a 24 hour deadline for Harrison to sign the contract.

Once it passed, the US fighter took to Twitter to post an emoji of the middle finger, followed by a peace sign. He later officially pulled out.

Tszyu said Harrison’s team were “unprofessional”, forcing him to look elsewhere.

“His team were playing all these games,” Tszyu added. “They think they’re this they think they’re that. They couldn’t even provide a passport photo let alone sign a document and commit to a boxing fight in Australia.

“As a team they were a bunch of unprofessionals. Boxing is full of that. There’s plenty of thugs and they don’t know how to get deals sorted.

“Unfortunately you’ve got teams that don’t know what they’re doing. That’s a prime example.”

The Sydney-based Tszyu said Inoue has a good team of “proper businessmen” around him and quarantine was never a sticking point for the Japan fighter, or any other fighter during negotiations.

Tszyu admitted he had only watched “some” of Inoue’s fight against Munguia, likening his style to Jeff Horn but more so current WBO champion Castano.

“His style is a similar to Horn but he’s a little bit more dangerous. He’s got a similar style to Castano, it will be perfect preparation. He comes forward, they’re both hooky type of fighters. The Japanese fighters are always tough and strong and they always come to fight.”

As for his mandatory shot at Castano’s belt, which has been earmarked for early 2022 if he gets past Inoue, Tszyu shot down claims he’s unwilling to travel to the United States.

Castano recently rejected talk of travelling to Australia, saying Las Vegas is where he fights. Tszyu declared, that’s fine by him.

“I’m 100 percent ready to go now. I’ve got my vaccinations ready. My passport ready everything. I’m willing to go there. I’m ready for America.”

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