Tim Tszyu's corner called out over Sebastian Fundora fight despite Aussie's admission

Tszyu lost the title fight after blood from a cut on his head left him struggling to see properly.

Tim Tszyu's corner has been called by boxing fans over their response to the nasty cut on the Aussie's head during Sunday's super-welterweight unification world title fight against Sebastian Fundora. Tszyu suffered his first defeat in 25 fights after a split decision in his debut fight in Las Vegas.

The Aussie dominated for much of the opening two rounds but was cut on the head after an accidental elbow from Fundora late in the second, and struggled to see properly for the remainder of the fight as blood continuously streamed down his face from the gash. Tszyu fought on valiantly but was ultimately unable to hold off the towering American, he utilised his reach advantage and jab to perfection.

Sebastian Fundora won the super-welterweight unification world title fight against Tim Tszyu via split decision in Las Vegas. Pic: AAP/Main Event
Sebastian Fundora won the super-welterweight unification world title fight against Tim Tszyu via split decision in Las Vegas. Pic: AAP/Main Event

Tszyu was somewhat surprisingly awarded victory on one of the judge's scorecards (116-112), but the other two judges (115-113 and 116-112) gave the fight to Fundora. The loss meant Tszyu relinquished his WBO super welterweight belt and missed the chance to claim the vacant WBC strap, which would have seen the Aussie take his place among boxing's elite.

Boxing experts and fans in the United States were scathing in their criticism of Tszyu's team and their response to the cut that left him a bloodied mess. The Aussie told his team that his vision was impaired by the blood that continued to stream down his face throughout the fight.

Tim Tszyu's corner questioned over response to cut

Tszyu's team could have stopped the fight and called for a 'no contest' before the fourth round, meaning he would not have lost the fight. Their failure to do so has since come under the microscope, as well as their treatment for the cut on his head, with some US analysts questioning whether Tszyu's team were using the right ointment on the wound to stop the bleeding.

Heavyweight promoter Lou DiBella tweeted after the fight: “There needs to be some analysis of the Tszyu corner. They let the kid down”. He then doubled down in response to another tweet questioning why the fight wasn't stopped earlier. “Where. Was. Corner?????? Do you think a Manny Steward or Lou Duva fighter would have been out there for Round 4?” DiBella posted.

Tszyu would only give a "no comment" when pressed on his corner's response to the defining cut. But Tszyu added afterwards that there was no way he was going to let his team stop the fight and take the 'no contest' in his first fight in Las Vegas and didn't want to make any "excuses" for the loss. The Aussie's promoter and CEO of No Limit Boxing George Rose said it demonstrated just how tough Tszyu is.

Tim Tszyu making 'no excuses' for loss to Sebastian Fundora

“What Tim said is spot on,” Rose said about Tszyu not wanting to make any excuses for his defeat. “He’s not buying into any of that stuff. “He’s got a great team around him, an absolutely great team.

“And the size of that cut, the position it was in, you saw it gushing out. I’m not a (medical) professional but I know they did a very good job trying to contain what was a crazy cut..

“I’ve got nothing but respect for Tim and his team for the amount of work they put in, because they were so prepared for that fight. A freak accident happens like that, with a waterfall of blood pouring into his eyes for 10 rounds, and he didn’t hesitate to get up off his stool and go back to war with a guy who had the odds stacked in his favour.”

Seen here, Tim Tszyu's nasty head cut after an accidental elbow from Sebastian Fundora.
Tim Tszyu suffered a nasty cut on his head after an accidental elbow from Sebastian Fundora in round two. Pic: Getty

Before the loss, Tszyu had a $US10 million ($A15.3 million) deal on the table to fight either pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford or former unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. He will now likely need to enact a rematch clause with Fundora to regain his belts and put his plans for world domination back on track.

Complicating matters is the appearance of Spence Jr. after the fight, with the American calling out Fundora for a fight that his compatriot was happy to welcome. "I think it will be great, he is one of the greats right now," Fundora said about Spence Jr. "If I can fight him and get a win over him, it will be history for me again."

Rose said talks over a Fundora rematch for Tszyu would begin in the next few days, with a return to Las Vegas or a fight on home soil possibilities. "We will have a discussion over when we will activate it (rematch clause) or whether any of these other big fish want to jump up and swim with Tim," Rose said.

with agencies