MINNEAPOLIS – Top super welterweight contender and rising star Tim Tszyu will make his long-awaited U.S. debut when he takes on U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in a 12-round showdown that headlines action live on SHOWTIME Saturday, March 26 from The Armory in Minneapolis in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature rising undefeated lightweight contender Michel Rivera dueling fellow unbeaten Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno in the 10-round co-main event, plus hard-hitting super lightweight contender Elvis Rodríguez faces Juan José Velasco in the 10-round telecast opener.
“Tim Tszyu has risen up the rankings and established himself as a serious contender at the top of the loaded 154-pound division, and he’ll look to make a splash stateside when he faces the highly-skilled and experienced Terrell Gausha,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “The action will be coming throughout this lineup, as lightweight phenom Michel Rivera takes on the undefeated Joseph Adorno, while Elvis Rodríguez looks to continue his ascent in the super lightweight division against the always tough Juan José Velasco.”
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, No Limit Boxing and Warriors Boxing, are on sale now and can be purchased at the Armory at http://ArmoryMN.com/ and through Ticketmaster.
The son of former unified champion Kostya, Tim Tszyu (20-0, 15 KOs) has quickly made a name for himself as one of the most promising contenders at 154-pounds. Tszyu headlines on SHOWTIME following in his father’s footsteps after Kostya competed 10 times on the network, including memorable knockouts of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Zab Judah. Fighting out of his native Sydney, Australia, Tszyu will make his U.S. debut on March 26 after earning his first 20 pro wins in his home country. The 27-year-old went the 12-round distance for the first time in his last fight, dominating Takeshi Inoue on his way to a unanimous decision in November 2021. The decision victory came after Tszyu had put together stoppage wins in eight of his previous ten outings.
“I’m very excited to be fighting in the U.S., especially on SHOWTIME, where my dad was featured for most of his career,” said Tszyu. “I’m proud and excited to continue on the Tszyu name with SHOWTIME. Once I take care of Gausha, I will be coming for the title.”
A member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, Gausha (22-2-1, 11 KOs) was born in Cleveland, Ohio but now fights out of Encino, Calif., where he is trained by Manny Robles and Prenice Brewer. The 34-year-old has faced tough competition throughout his career, having fought former champion Austin Trout to a draw in 2019 in addition to decision losses against former champion Erislandy Lara and top contender Erickson Lubin. Gausha showed improved power in his most recent bout, stopping rising contender Jamontay Clark in two rounds in March 2021.
“I’ve been ready for this fight for a long time,” said Gausha. “I came into this game to be a world champion and fight the best. I expect Tim to come in great shape and I’ll also come in my best shape to put on a great fight for the fans. My coaches are getting me prepared perfectly for the kind of fight I need to put on so that I can leave the ring victorious.”
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and now fighting out of Miami, Fla. Rivera (22-0, 14 KOs) burst onto the scene in 2019, making his U.S. debut with a victory over Rene Tellez Giron on SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION®. The 23-year-old continued his ascent in 2020, adding a stoppage win against Fidel Maldonado Jr. and a unanimous decision triumph against lightweight contender LaDarius Miller. Rivera carried his dominance into 2021 with three more victories, including a stoppage of Anthony Mercado in February before delivering a highlight-reel knockout of Jon Fernandez in July on SHOWTIME. He most recently scored a shutout unanimous decision over Matias Romero in October.
“This is a great opportunity for me to display my talents once again against a high-quality opponent in Joseph Adorno,” said Rivera. “I’m ready to take on anyone willing to challenge me until my time comes to fight for the world title. My goal is to be victorious on March 26 and then face Gervonta Davis for his title. With each fight I’m getting closer to reaching that goal. I can’t wait to show off all the hard work that I’ve put into this camp on fight night.”
Adorno (14-0-2, 12 KOs) has fought to a draw in each of his last two fights, dropping fellow unbeaten Jamaine Ortiz twice in April 2021 after dueling Héctor “Guadaña” García in January 2020. The 22-year-old was born in Union City, New Jersey and now resides in Allentown, Pa., having fought in nearby Philadelphia five times throughout his career. Adorno turned pro in 2016 at the age of 17 after a standout amateur career where he amassed a 178-22 record and beat Shakur Stevenson’s twice. He has scored knockout victories in nine of his first 10 pro fights.
“This fight is a chance for me to show my true talents,” said Adorno. “Not taking anything away from Rivera, but I know I’m going to be the better fighter on March 26. I’m working with a new trainer, Raúl ‘Chino’ Rivas, who has trained many talented fighters, and I’m ready to showcase myself at my very best. I’m more focused than ever and I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by. Everybody better be ready for a show on March 26.”
Rodríguez (12-1-1, 11 KOs) bounced back from his first career defeat, a majority decision loss to Kenneth Sims Jr., to knockout the previously unbeaten Juan Pablo Romero on the Canelo vs. Plant SHOWTIME PPV® undercard in November. The 26-year-old burst onto the scene with knockout victories in 10 of his first 11 fights and put together an impressive five wins in 2020. Originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rodríguez now lives in Los Angeles
“March 26 is another step toward my world championship goal,” said Rodríguez. “I am fighting a tough veteran fighter who has faced top-level competition. I’ve stayed in camp through Christmas so that I can be 100% ready for this fight. Winning on March 26 means a lot for my career and I hope that a win will put me in contention for a title shot this year. I want to show the world that I’m ready for the big names in the division.”
The 34-year-old Velasco (23-2, 14 KOs) enters this fight on a three-bout winning streak, having most recently earned a split decision victory over Zachary Ochoa in February 2021. A native of Jujuy, Argentina, Velasco has tangled with some of the toughest fighters in the 140-pound division, including former champions Mario Barrios and Regis Prograis. Velasco will fight in the U.S. for the fifth time on March 26.
“I’m very honored to be on a great card like this,” said Velasco. “This is actually the second time that I’ve been preparing to face Rodríguez, so I know what I’m up against. He’s going to come into the right at 100%, just like I will. May the best man win on March 26.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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