Furious Tszyu takes aim at Jeff Horn and promoter
TIM Tszyu is furious that the location and date of his major bout against Jeff Horn is yet to be finalised just 10 weeks before the proposed showdown.
Both fighters squared off in Sydney on Tuesday, announcing they would fight in the super-welterweight division over 10 rounds on April 22.
But Horn's promoter, Dean Lonergan, quickly added that the date might change if he could get a better deal from any of the state governments bidding to host the event.
Brisbane is favourite to stage the fight, but Townsville and Melbourne are both actively chasing the fight, and Sydney remains in the mix as fourth in pecking order.
Lonergan, leading the negotiations with the various state governments, says a date and venue is unlikely to be determined for at least another month, angering Tszyu, who follows a strict training regimen that he began on New Year's Day for Horn.
"Of course I won't be happy. April 22nd it should be, they're just trying to buy time,' Tszyu told The Daily Telegraph.
"Forget about the money, just let us fight and prove to Australia who is the best in the country."
But Lonergan made no apologies for seeking the best financial deal, having already secured a 60-40 split of the estimated $4 million fight purse in favour of Horn.
"According to Tim he's not doing it for the money, so we should have done a 75-25 split," Lonergan said.
"My view is that I want to send my guys out a combination of healthy and wealthy.
"You've got such a short space of time, boxing qualifies you for nothing after you're done. I want to ensure when Jeff Horn walks away he's incredibly financially sound and well prepared for the next part of his life.
"So my job is to give him the choice to walk away when he wants.
"State governments take their time. The preferred date 100 per cent is April 22, but there's always alternative ways you can do things, so there could be flexibility if we have to."
Horn (20-2-1, 13KO) will start favourite against Sydney's Tszyu (15-0, 11KO), but the younger man is not intimidated by the former world champion, who has defeated Manny Pacquiao.
"He is not world class," Tszyu said.
"Just after his last fight (on December 18 against Michael Zerafa) my manager told me that it's likely I'll fight Horn next. Straight away that got me in the zone. I've got laser-beam focus once I know I've got someone in front of me.
"On New Year's Eve I had dinner with the family, then I went to bed just after midnight because I knew I had to run the next day. I was doing 10km.
"He probably started training a week ago - has he even started training? But I'm hungrier than ever."
Horn, 32, says 25-year-old Tszyu is making the same mistake as many of his critics and previous opponents.
"A lot of people are sitting on the couch watching boxing and thinking 'I can beat that guy, I reckon I could hit him', until they get in there," Horn said.
"Even in a sparring match, you're getting hit, you're thinking 'holy s---, what is going on here?'
"I get very little respect from fellow boxers because what I do probably doesn't look pretty sometimes.
"You don't know the awkwardness and experience that I've got in there, and I can take a fight up to someone that is world class.
"Has he done what I'd done when I got the shot? I don't think so. I'd done the harder road to get to where he is."