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Tim Tszyu world title fight against Vergil Ortiz Jnr canceled; what happened, injury update

Tim Tszyu has been sensationally ruled out of his impending world title clash with unbeaten American prodigy Vergil Ortiz Jnr – with doctors declaring the Australian boxing poster boy unfit to fight.

No Limit CEO George Rose confirmed Friday morning that Tszyu would withdraw from what was set to be a hyped WBA super welterweight interim title match in Los Angeles on August 4.

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Rose revealed that Team Tszyu had received medical advice, suggesting the 29-year-old still needs more time to heal after suffering a deep head wound during his recent world title loss to towering American southpaw Sebastian Fundora.

Held in March this year, Australia’s then WBO champion looked to unify for the first time in his career when he took on Fundora for the vacant WBC crown in a blockbuster event in Las Vegas.

After dominating the first two rounds, Tszyu was then forced to fight effectively blind for about 30 minutes against a rival whose wayward elbow split him open in the closing moments of the second round.

The blood loss was so great that Tszyu became increasingly hampered as the fight progressed, but still fought on bravely before ultimately suffering a split-decision loss.

Although Team Tszyu initially expected to be right for the Ortiz fight, they have now made the difficult decision to withdraw their fighter following new medical advice.

It is understood he has also been told to abstain from sparring for at least six weeks.

The news comes as a big surprise as Tszyu only recently completed two weeks of training in Thailand, where he was accompanied for part of his stay by Hall of Fame father Kostya tszyu.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 30: WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu (L) walks to his corner after a 12-round fight against Sebastian Fundora at T-Mobile Arena on March 30, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fundora won Tszyu’s title and a vacant WBC title via split decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

The pair trained together for seven days and uploaded several clips to social media.

Fox Sports Australia can reveal that as recently as last week, Tszyu’s team was finalizing plans for what would be an eight-week fight camp in the United States – with several key sparring partners already chosen.

“We are bitterly disappointed with the setback and Tim is extremely frustrated after a great pre-camp with Kostya,” Rose said in a statement on Friday.

“He showed everyone that he will fight everything against Fundora, but honestly this decision was taken out of his hands.

“Ultimately, it was his body and medical professionals who told him he wasn’t ready yet.”

The statement then concluded by suggesting that additional details on when Tszyu could return to the ring would be provided by No Limit Boxing “in the future.”

It’s been a whirlwind few days for Tszyu, who also found his chance for a rematch with Fundora was over after “The Towering Inferno” signed up for a lucrative championship fight against Errol Spence.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 30: WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu (L) takes a punch from Sebastian Fundora during the ninth round of a title fight at T-Mobile Arena on March 30, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fundora won Tszyu’s title and a vacant WBC title via split decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

ESPN reported that the new champion would face Spence in October in Dallas.

Spence was ringside earlier this year for Tszyu’s shock loss to Fundora, with the latter making a late intervention after Keith Thurman withdrew from the main event injured.

While Tszyu’s corner was criticized for the treatment of his cut during the Fundora loss, both for failing to stem the blood flow and for not demanding the championship fight be called off, the fighter himself has consistently defended his team.

When asked after the loss about his decision to continue, Tszyu said: “Look, I told you, I’m an old throwback fighter, no matter the circumstances.

“I couldn’t see it, but all the credit goes to the man who won tonight.

“These things happen.

“The momentum was rolling, I was swinging hard in the early rounds and then ‘boom’, you’re completely blindsided.

‘But look, this is boxing.

“This is part of the sport and it happens.

“Congratulations to Fundora – he’s the new king at 154 (pounds).”

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