Boxers Tim Tszyu and Jeff Horn at Queensland Country Bank Stadium for announcement of 'Rumble on the Reef'. Picture: Evan Morgan
Boxers Tim Tszyu and Jeff Horn at Queensland Country Bank Stadium for announcement of 'Rumble on the Reef'. Picture: Evan Morgan

Incredible upside to Horn vs Tszyu ’Bloody Sunday’ delay

Promoters of the postponed Jeff Horn vs Tim Tszyu fight will look to make the event one of the first major live sporting contests beamed around the world once the coronavirus crisis has passed.

The global pandemic has forced the delay of the Australian super-fight scheduled for April 22 in Townsville.

News Corp can reveal that plans are now being hatched to stage the fight on a Sunday morning so it can be broadcast prime time in the United States at a time sports fans will be feverishly seeking live content amid mass cancellations of major tournaments.

 

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"The coronavirus has made it impossible for us to safely stage the fight on April 22 as planned so we have postponed it pending developments and health advice, but it gives us a chance to get creative with how we broadcast it at a later date," Tszyu's promoter Matt Rose said.

"Sports fans around the world are unfortunately facing the prospect of not seeing much live content for quite a while, be it in the United States or Europe and probably Australia over the coming weeks too.

"We have two fighters at the peak of their careers, the top of their game, who have been training the house down in preparation for April 22, but it won't take them long to readjust and get ready for the new date as soon as we have it.

"So we'll have a hugely exciting event that will be attractive to broadcasters all over the globe, which is why we'd consider holding it on a Sunday morning in Australia so it can reach a peak audience in the US, at a time fans will probably be craving live sport."

Horn said the postponement of the fight has only delayed his rival suffering his first defeat and that he won't be letting the young Sydney hotshot off the hook.

"I don't know how long it will be,'' Horn said in Brisbane yesterday.

Boxers Tim Tszyu and Jeff Horn have had their fight postponed. Picture: Evan Morgan
Boxers Tim Tszyu and Jeff Horn have had their fight postponed. Picture: Evan Morgan

 

"Only time will tell. But I'll continue to train and I'm very confident that I will have too much of everything for Tim.

"It was so exciting to be at the Townsville Stadium checking it out and training last week. It's like Suncorp only a bit smaller.

"I was on track and ready to go with only five weeks out from the fight and right in the deep of preparation.

"Now I just need to keep training and stay focused on beating Tim because it will happen.''

Horn's trainer Glenn Rushton said Horn was peaking for the fight at the right time.

"Jeff was hitting so hard,'' Rushton said.

"I think he still has three more good years in him and as soon as we can get the green light to stage the fight we will be back in Townsville.

"This is Australia's fight of the year but right now public safety comes first.

"If we could get everyone in the world to stay home for a month problem solved, but right now it's about containment and seeing how this evolves.

"We're disappointed with the delay, we want this, Jeff wants this, Tim wants this; all of Australia wants the fight.

"The best I can do is ease Jeff up a little in training - do good work, steady work, stay nimble and hope it's not too big a delay.''

Horn's promoter Dean Lonergan said the fight would still be held in Townsville's new Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

"The plan is still to go down that path and have 25,000 people in attendance at the magnificent new stadium," Lonergan said.

"Unlike the NRL or AFL, we don't have to be forced into any major decisions in a rush. We're nimble, we're a singular event, in boxing we put up with injuries and fighter pull-outs all the time.

"Once ban is lifted we'll be putting on this fight and it will be a major show."

Tszyu has held his most intense training camp to date for the showdown against his Brisbane rival.

"I've trained very hard for this fight for eight weeks, while I'm disappointed, in the scheme of things I completely understand the fight cannot go ahead at this time," Tszyu said.

"I wish everyone stays safe."