Revealed: Blockbuster fight night locked in
One of the biggest boxing events ever staged in Australia has been secured for Bankwest Stadium in December, with Tim Tszyu headlining a card that will also feature the highly anticipated showdown between Paul Gallen and Mark Hunt.
In a first, two headlining main events will be on the same show at an event dubbed 'The Sydney Supershow' under lights on December 16 in Parramatta, the NSW Government has announced.
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After his breakthrough victory against Jeff Horn, world-rated Tszyu fights Kiwi Bowyn Morgan in his next step towards a championship belt.
In the co-main event, NRL legend Gallen takes on former UFC knockout king Hunt, a fight that has been brewing for months and had originally been planned as a major bout on its own.
A recent bicep injury to Gallen threatened to scrap the fight for 2020, but he has opted against surgery and will rely on extra time off to prepare for the grudge match in seven weeks' time.
NSW Minister for Tourism, Stuart Ayres, announced the event at Bankwest Stadium on Wednesday morning, capping a series of major sporting events for Sydney including last weekend's NRL grand final, this Saturday's Bledisloe Cup and the second State of Origin clash at ANZ Stadium on November 11.
Tszyu is now rated by all four major sanctioning bodies in the super-welterweight division; No. 2 in WBO, No. 4 in IBF, and No. 8 in both WBC and WBA.
On August 26, he scored a technical knockout after Horn could not come out for the ninth round, moving to 16-0 with 12 knockouts.
Morgan (21-1, 11KO) suffered his only loss in 2016, and has since won 14 successive bouts.
But the 31-year-old from Christchurch has not fought outside of New Zealand and will be a heavy underdog against 25-year-old Tszyu, who could become mandatory challenger for WBO champion Patrick Teixeira with a victory.
Gallen, 39, had been under an injury-cloud after suffering a bicep tendon injury earlier this month - but is desperate to fight Hunt after an ongoing war of words between the pair since the start of the year.
Both fighters have ties to Western Sydney with Hunt raising his children in Campbelltown and Gallen born in Guildford, making Bankwest Stadium an ideal venue for the blockbuster 'battle of the west'.
The fight will be a return to combat sports for Hunt, 46. He has been inactive since December 2018, when he lost a decision to Justin Willis in the final fight of his UFC contract.
Auckland-born Hunt is a former world kick-boxing champion, who had 18 UFC outings for eight wins, eight losses and a draw.
The "Super Samoan" has only competed twice in professional boxing - once in 1998 and once in 2000. He holds a pro-boxing record of 0-1-1.
Gallen (9-0-1) last fought in November 2019, with the verdict of a six-round bout against Barry Hall decided as a majority draw.
Before that, the NSW State of Origin and Sharks premiership-winning captain stopped John Hopoate in round two and scored a unanimous decision against Puna Rasaubale.
Gallen opted against surgery after injuring his bicep in training in early October due to the extended recovery period he would need to endure.
In an interview with 2GB, Gallen explained that he would lose "20 per cent" of his strength due to not having surgery, with the injury leaving him 10-weeks to be ready for the battle with Hunt.
In an interview a fortnight ago with 2GB, Gallen said: "I rang Mark myself yesterday and spoke to him and said, 'I'm not trying to give you the run-around, I'm not stuffing around.
"It is still a chance of happening and we're waiting on the promoter to finalise dates and location and things like that.
"It's definitely still in the pipeline, I've just got to get better. The fight won't be till at least December, so I've got 9-10 weeks.
"If I was a rugby league player, I've spoken to a couple over the past couple of days with the same injury, and they've missed up to a month and some have played the next week.
"It comes down to pain, I can't do any more damage because it's ripped off the bone, the tendon itself, it comes down to pain and what I can do."
Tickets for the Sydney Superfight go on sale at 10am Monday 2nd November via Ticketek.
Tickets are priced from $29 and are strictly limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Originally published as Revealed: Blockbuster fight night locked in