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Tim Tszyu vs Bowyn Morgan, Mark Hunt vs Paul Gallen: What you need to know

All you need to know as Tim Tszyu returns to the ring to take on Kiwi fighter Bowyn Morgan, while former NRL star Paul Gallen meets mixed-martial arts legend Mark Hunt at the Western Sydney Stadium.

The chosen one of Australian boxing, Tim Tszyu, is stepping back into the ring for his second stadium fight of the year when he takes on dangerous New Zealander Bowyn Morgan at the Western Sydney Stadium on Wednesday night.

On the undercard, MMA legend Mark Hunt will meet NRL player-turned outspoken pundit Paul Gallen.

This Sydney Superfight shows the recent revival in Australian boxing is well underway, with a packed undercard full of talent set to end the year with a bang.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the final big fight of the year.

What is on the line?
Boxer Tim Tszyu holds his gloved hands up while being carried by his team after beating Jeff Horn.Boxer Tim Tszyu holds his gloved hands up while being carried by his team after beating Jeff Horn.
Regional belts are up for grabs at the Western Sydney Stadium, but Tim Tszyu has loftier ambitions.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Tszyu and Morgan are competing for the WBO Global and IBF Australasian super welterweight titles.

And in great news for the Aussie (and the Kiwi for that matter), the WBO announced on Monday that the fight would be elevated to a world title eliminator.

Should Tszyu win, he will fight for the world junior middleweight title with either belt holder Patrick Teixeira from Brazil or number one challenger Brian Castro of Argentina.

Tim Tszyu has become the face of Australian boxing, the standard-bearer for the sport.

After a series of impressive victories against the best of the domestic opposition, Tszyu has risen to be deemed second in the WBO junior middleweight rankings and fourth in the IBF list.

Tszyu's devastating victory over Jeff Horn in August cemented his spot at the top of the Australian boxing pile, and the only way is further up towards a world championship tilt.

Who is Bowyn Morgan?
Bowyn Morgan is hugged by a man in a white t-shirt, both are smiling, in a boxing ringBowyn Morgan is hugged by a man in a white t-shirt, both are smiling, in a boxing ring
Bowyn Morgan has a professional record of 21-1.(Instagram: Bowyn Morgan)

A former Commonwealth Games competitor who reached the welterweight quarter-finals in Glasgow 2014 and holds the minor world WBU welterweight belt to boot, Morgan started boxing in the tiny town of Runanga on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island.

The 31-year-old Kiwi, who has a professional record of 21 wins — 11 by knockout — and one knockout defeat to Aussie Kris George back in 2016, was in line for a shot at the IBF Pan Pacific welterweight title until COVID-19 intervened.

As a result, he has not fought for over a year and turned down a fight against Tszyu last year, something the Australian says was a big mistake.

"I'm a different fighter right now," Tszyu told the Sydney Morning Herald,

"I haven't taken days off and I've been obsessed … with getting better."

Now, he is looking for a "life-changing" upset against the highly fancied Tszyu — but the odds are heavily stacked against him.

Tszyu should win easily, shouldn't he?
Tim Tszyu (left) strikes Jeff Horn.Tim Tszyu (left) strikes Jeff Horn.
Tim Tszyu (left) has steam-rolled domestic opposition.(AAP Image: Dave Hunt)

In all probability, yes.

Same name, same looks … same talent?
Tim Tszyu in training at the Tszyu Boxing Academy in Rockdale, Sydney.Tim Tszyu in training at the Tszyu Boxing Academy in Rockdale, Sydney.

The son of Australian legend Kostya Tszyu is fast making a name for himself in the pugilistic profession. And legendary trainer Johnny Lewis says he has what it takes to be just like his dad — a world champion.

Read more

For a start, Morgan has never fought an opponent of the calibre of Tszyu — and never fought in a big stadium either.

He fights out of an orthodox stance and is very left-hand dominant, finding success against his previous opponents with a solid jab and big, looping left hooks to the body, but he will need to be a lot sharper and faster if he is to hurt Tszyu.

However, he'll likely have to work inside to cause Tszyu problems — something Morgan said was his rival's "biggest weakness" — as he gives away a whopping 14cm reach disadvantage.

Morgan said, though, with that less-expansive boxing style, it was likely he would have to knock Tszyu out to come away with the win at the Western Sydney Stadium.

An upset victory will trigger a rematch clause.

Why is Paul Gallen fighting Mark Hunt?
Mark Hunt and Paul Gallen stand and shake hands, both wearing white t-shirts in front of a blue backgroundMark Hunt and Paul Gallen stand and shake hands, both wearing white t-shirts in front of a blue background
Mark Hunt (left) is without a win on his record in four years, and hasn't boxed in 20 years.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Dubiously billed as a co-main event, former NRL hard man Gallen will take on MMA legend Hunt immediately prior to the headline act.

Some of the promotional material has called this a bout between two big men with big mouths, which appears to be a fair description, as neither have been shy about promoting the six-round heavyweight contest.

Hunt, 46, has called Gallen, 39, a "grub" and is adamant that he will knock out the former Sharks star.

Gallen, meanwhile, says the pressure is all on the "Super Samoan", who is without a win in almost four years, saying that a defeat would further tarnish the big-hitter's combat legacy.

Hunt has only had two professional boxing outings in his extensive fight career — a draw and a defeat — although both occurred more than 20 years ago.

Since then, Hunt has won a handful of super heavyweight kickboxing titles (30-13) and competed in Mixed Martial Arts for 14 years, ending with a 13-14-1 record, with one no contest.

Gallen, who has 9 wins and 1 draw from his 10 professional fights, has beaten John Hopoate, Junior Paulo and Randall Rayment but could only manage a draw against former AFL star Barry Hall in his last outing.

A boxer leans in to land a punch on his opponent in the ringA boxer leans in to land a punch on his opponent in the ring
Paul Gallen (right) drew with Barry Hall during their "Code War" bout.(AAP: Michael Dodge)
When is Tszyu-Morgan?

The Sydney Super fight gets underway at the Western Sydney Stadium on Wednesday, December 16.

The first of the fights on the undercard get underway at 5:30pm AEDT and can be watched on Foxtel.

The pay-per-view element of the evening starts at 7:00pm AEDT but, with four fights to get through before Tszyu and Morgan make their ring walks, it will likely be around 9:00pm that the main fight gets underway.

How can I watch Tszyu-Morgan?

Tickets are available to watch the fight in person at the Western Sydney Stadium, but if you don't fancy that, you'll have to shell out anyway.

The fight is on Fox Sports' pay-per-view channel, Main Event, and you'll have to pay $59.95 for the privilege.

However, you can follow the fight, including Hunt vs Gallen and the full undercard, in our live blog from 6:30pm AEDT on Wednesday.

Who is on the undercard?

It's a stacked undercard featuring some of Australian boxing's brightest stars.

There are also two regional title fights before the co-main events to whet your appetite with.

Trent Girdham (1-0) vs Oscar Doane (debut) —Super lightweight

Riccardo Colosimo (3-0) vs Dillon Bargero (5-11) — Super welterweight

Luke Jackson (19-1) vs Tyson Lantry (7-3) — Lightweight

Darragh Foley (18-4-1) vs Ty Telford (6-0-1) — Vacant WBA Oceania, IBF Pan Pacific, IBO Asia Pacific super lightweight titles.

Liam Wilson (7-0) vs Rodynie Rafol (14-8-2) — Lightweight

Paul Fleming (26-0) vs Bruno Tarimo (25-2-1) — Vacant interim WBA Oceania, IBF International super featherweight titles.

Mark Hunt (0-1-1) vs Paul Gallen (9-0-1) — Heavyweight

Tim Tszyu (16-0) vs Bowyn Morgan (21-1) — IBF Australasian, WBO Global super welterweight titles.

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