Deep Waters Recap: Lots Of Blame To Be Assigned From Tszyu’s First Defeat

There’s plenty of blame to be shelled out following Tim Tszyu’s bloody, belts-relinquishing defeat by Sebastian Fundora Saturday night, and some of it can be delivered by projecting future events.

“I guess it’s all business moves, but it’s not right,” Paulie Malignaggi said of the effort to deprive Tszyu of an instant rematch with Fundora.

On Monday’s episode of ProBox TV’s “Deep Waters” Malignaggi, hall of famer Timothy Bradley Jr. and former 140lbs champion Chris Algieri broke down events surrounding the replacement-fighter Fundora’s stunning split-decision triumph in Las Vegas to capture Tszyu’s WBO light-middleweight belt and the WBC’s then-vacant version.

“Tim Tszyu saved your show,” Malignaggi said in comments aimed at Premier Boxing Champions power brokers. “He deserves a rematch.

“He was [preparing] for a 5-feet-7 right-hander [the later-injured former welterweight champion Keith Thurman] and instead you switch it to a 6-6 left-hander on two weeks’ notice, and he took the fight and winds up making it a great show. A terrific show.

“He doesn’t deserve to be phased out for doing the right thing for the fans – by staying in the fight – and for PBC, by taking the fight in the first place.”

Immediately after the scores were read on Saturday, the former welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. climbed into the ring and positioned for a bout with Fundora, telling him it’s time to fight “the big dog”.

Fundora’s promoter Sampson Lewkowicz embraced the notion, saying on stage that Tszyu needs time to recover and heal from the ghastly cut he suffered on the top of his head by banging on to the sharpened, bent portion of Fundora’s left elbow at the close of the first round, triggering an extraordinary amount of blood loss throughout the fight.

Even though the WBO is ordering Fundora meet the recently undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford next, Lewkowicz said later on Saturday that it’s better business to pursue Texas’ former unified world champion Spence next because of his ability to draw so well at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

“They’re preparing to screw Tszyu out of a rematch,” Malignaggi said.

Lewkowicz softened his tone in a prepared statement released Monday.

“We were all so eager to make this fight [with Tszyu during negotiations] that many of our agreements were made verbally; there wasn’t enough time,” Lewkowicz said. “But I wish to make it clear that Team Fundora will honor the agreement. My word is always equal to a signed contract. Tim Tszyu, your rematch is ready when you are.”

Lewkowicz said it’s up to Tszyu whether he wants to take the fight immediately or if prefers the fighters each take an interim fight beforehand.

“It all depends on Tim Tszyu,” Lewkowicz said in the statement. “If he doesn’t take the rematch, we will take the WBO mandatory [Crawford] or Spence – whatever the WBO says – but the first priority is the rematch with Tim Tszyu.”

Malignaggi would prefer more assurance than that.

“Let’s see who has [Tszyu’s] back. I want to see what kind of ethics boxing has,” Malignaggi said.

Although Malignaggi ripped the ringside doctor as a “clown” for allowing the fight to proceed past the first round, Algieri noted that Tszyu wasn’t truthful in telling the doctor and the referee Harvey Dock that he could see as the blood flowed directly into his eyes.

After the bout, Tszyu said he was “blinded.”

“Fighters also lie because they are warriors,” Algieri said. “Tim did what a warrior should do.”

Malignaggi agreed: “We are conditioned as fighters not to quit.”

But Bradley said he believes Tszyu’s corner failed him by allowing the fight to continue – when a belt-saving no-contest could have been declared by a stoppage before the end of the fourth round.

Bradley said the longest the fight should have gone was the fifth round, if the corner had suggested after the third, “Give me two more hard rounds,” and then urged Tszyu to be truthful with the doctor about his diminished vision, which would’ve sent the bout to the scorecards.

“The corner had no clue what they were doing,” Bradley said. “It had to do with their arrogance. He took this fight on [13 days’] notice. He and his corner thought he was going to knock out Fundora.

By Tszyu continuing to wipe at his eyes with his gloves, “his corner could see,” Bradley said.

“They still thought he could catch [Fundora] and knock him out, and let’s say he did…, ” to which Algieri added: “He’d be Arturo Gatti.”

Said Bradley: “The fact is, this [defeat] happened, he’s lost his belt and [the corner] look like dumb*****. Like rookies.”

The most logical next move for both fighters is to stage their rematch, the Deep Waters panel concluded.

“I’ll pay to see it again,” Bradley said. “I want to see if Fundora [who fought through a broken, bloodied nose also suffered in the first round] can do it against a healthy Tszyu – not the Tszyu with blood dripping down his eyes.

“Tszyu will be back. He is entertaining, fun to watch and willing to face the best out there. We don’t have a lot of guys like Tim Tszyu in our sport. Spence can wait. Run it back.”

To which Algieri added: “If only boxing were fair…”