WA Government needs to tick Horn-Tszyu bout

Jeff Horn with trainer Glenn Rushton. Photo: Getty
Jeff Horn with trainer Glenn Rushton. Photo: Getty

JEFF Horn looks likely to fight Tim Tszyu at Perth’s RAC Arena this April, but the fight needs to get approval – and funding – from the WA Government first.

Horn, 31, last fought in December when he avenged his August loss to Michael Zerafa.

Now the Queenslander is looking to take on Tim Tszyu, the son of boxing legend Kostya Tszyu.

Perth looms as a surprise venue for the event, and Horn’s manager Glenn Rushton said he hoped the government came on board.

“It’d be a very, very big event,” Rushton told Community News.

“We’re looking at beaming this back into the US, so obviously that is also a benefit to tourism in WA.”

Tim Tszyu against Jack Brubaker. Photo: Getty

Rushton said RAC Arena was the likely venue for the bout, although he added that promoters had placed “holds on a couple of venues”.

The last time RAC Arena hosted a combat sport event, 12,437 people attended UFC 221 in February 2018.

Horn rose to prominence on the back of a stirring performance against Manny Pacquiao at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium in 2017.

Rushton believes the Horn-Tszyu fight could have a similar impact for Perth.

He said the WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia and Premier Mark McGowan would have to support the fight in order to get the event – which is likely to feature multiple world title fights – across the line.

“It would be a coup for WA to snatch this event off the eastern states,” he said.

“We’re waiting for the West Australian government to come back to us.

“I’ve had a couple of conversations now with (sports) minister Mick Murray, he’s been very helpful.”

Joy for Horn and Rushton as he is declared the winner against Pacquiao. Photo: Getty

When asked if he was confident the fight would be in Perth, Rushton said: “I’m as confident as I can be.

“We’ve already got a number of corporate sponsors who are very keen to come on board from Perth.

“I know that the numbers work, I know that we’ve got the support of the Minister for Sport, but we’ve got to get Paul Papalia on board, the Minister for Tourism, and obviously the Premier, Mark McGowan, also on board.

“The ball is now in their court.”

Rushton said Tszyu, unbeaten in 15 fights with 11 knockouts to his name, was an emerging contender who would provide a stern test for Horn.

“He’s a tough, tough guy,” he said.

“Very hard puncher, got a great right hand like his dad.

“He’s young, he’s hungry, he’s fiercely determined.”