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Confusion And Misinformation Clouds ‘Cancelled’ Tim Tszyu-Erickson Lubin Bout, Tszyu Now Reportedly Set To Fight Keith Thurman

Confusion And Misinformation Clouds 'Cancelled' Tim Tszyu-Erickson Lubin Bout, Tszyu Now Reportedly Set To Fight Keith Thurman featured image
Tim Tszyu will reportedly face Keith Thurman in his next fight, set to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 30 (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Tim Tszyu was reportedly angling for a title defense against Erickson Lubin but the unconfirmed talks between the two were mysteriously cancelled with reports indicating Lubin withdrew from negotiations. However, Lubin himself came out to vehemently deny rumors, and reports of Keith Thurman becoming Tszyu’s next opponent have now surfaced to leave others in suspense as to what really occurred.

Australian WBO super welterweight champion Tim Tszyu (24-0, 17 KO’s) was planning to face American contender Erickson Lubin (26-2, 18 KO’s) according to reports from approximately two weeks ago, only for Lubin to claim that he was waiting on the fight date to be announced following recent reports of him pulling out of negotiations.

Wait what? this is news to me. I was waiting on the date.” Lubin posted on his Twitter account following a report from Fox Sports Australia employee Ben Damon that Lubin had withdrawn from negotiations for a bout with Tszyu.

Ben Damon claiming Erickson Lubin withdrew from talks with Tim Tszyu.

Lubin’s trainer, Kevin Cunningham, came out afterwards to deny there were any formal talks between the two teams, which caused some confusion given the reports of negotiations and Lubin’s own claim that he was “waiting for a fight date”, though it can also be interpreted that Cunningham was merely clarifying Lubin’s previous statement.

How did Erickson Lubin turn down a fight that was never formally offered? Aus-Boxing, this is irresponsible reporting and your sources are bad.Cunningham Tweeted when reports of Lubin’s ‘withdrawal’ surfaced.

It should be noted that Ben Damon, not Aus-Boxing, first came out with the report. Damon is an employee of Fox Sports Australia and is most prevalently known as the MC (Master of Ceremonies) during events broadcasted on Fox Sports Australia. Damon has been involved in nearly all of Tim Tszyu’s past fights held in Australia as a MC, and can be often seen interviewing Tszyu during pre- or post-match interviews.

To clarify, Tszyu or his team never stated negotiations had started with Lubin, merely that they were looking at him as a prospective opponent, yet there is a clear connection between Tim Tszyu and Fox Sports Australia which therefore implicates Tszyu and/or his team in these false reports.

Tim Tszyu is currently signed to Australian-based boxing promotion No Limit who have worked together with Fox Sports Australia since at least 2021. The link between the promotion and broadcaster might suggest false information has been fed to Ben Damon, though this has thus far not yet been proven.

New reports now point towards a fight in the works between Tszyu and American former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KO’s) who has not fought since defeating Mario Barrios (28-2, 18 KO’s) in February of 2022―making it almost two years since Thurman fought last.

Notably, these reports have not yet been confirmed by the relevant parties including the promotions of both fighters. Mike Coppinger from ESPN claims the fight between Tszyu and Thurman will feature as the first pay-per-view (PPV) event to be broadcasted on Amazon Prime since it entered into a multi-year agreement with the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC). The fight will reportedly occur in Las Vegas, Nevada.

If true, the fight can safely be attributed to be a ‘stay-busy’ fight for Tim Tszyu given Thurman’s long absence from the ring. Tszyu will be making his Las Vegas debut if the reports are correct, allowing him to potentially corner the USA market depending on his performance as Thurman is still a rather well-known name in the United States.

Thurman is best known for his career as a welterweight but his debut occurred at 154 lbs where he has fought occasionally before he became a world champion at 147 lbs after being promoted from WBA interim champion to full champion in January of 2015 prior to defending his world title for the first time against Robert Guerrero on March 7th.

March 30 is the date upon which the fight is expected to occur.