IT has been quite the fortnight for Australia’s Tim Tszyu.

After receiving news that his original opponent, Keith Thurman, had suffered and injury in training and would therefore no longer be able to fight him in Las Vegas on March 30, Tszyu then had to contend with the idea of fighting a replacement, Sebastian Fundora, who was the opposite of Thurman in every conceivable way. Worse still, the impact of this switch, and the decision to fight Fundora in lieu of Thurman, became clear only when the fight between Tszyu and Fundora began, by which time it was too late to go back, re-think, or say no.

In the end, Tszyu, still the pre-fight favourite, fell victim to his own ambition and, to some extent, arrogance as he struggled getting to grips with Fundora tonight (March 30) and ultimately lost a 12-round split decision (by scores of 116-112, 112-116 & 115-113).

The loss, of course, represents the first of Tszyu’s career; it also represents the biggest win of Fundora’s, its importance so much greater in light of the fact it follows Fundora’s own first pro defeat last year (against Brian Mendoza).

As for why it happened, there are no doubt a few contributing factors. For one, fighting through a mask of blood, which is essentially what Tszyu did from about round three (when caught by an accidental elbow and cut badly on the top of the head), would hardly have helped the Australian; nor, for that matter, will he have understood the difficulty of fighting a 6’5 southpaw until he was standing directly in front of him and it was suddenly time to act.

That Tszyu got through the 12 rounds  in this state can be considered a success of sorts, yet Tszyu, now 24-1 (17), is unlikely to see it this way, or indeed go so easy on himself. Tszyu, after all, was once the WBO super-welterweight champion with sights very much set on adding the WBC version of the crown to his stash, then fighting Terence Crawford later this year. That was the whole plan; a lucrative one at that. Now, however, that has well and truly gone up in smoke and all because Tszyu, a believer in his own abilities, couldn’t say no.

Perhaps he simply overestimated his ability to beat someone in Fundora, 21-1-1 (13), whose style was always liable to give him the kind of headache he will no doubt have to endure tomorrow. Perhaps this was, in so many ways, the lesson he needed to learn. Perhaps, rather than Crawford, Tszyu has a new target to chase down – for a rematch – later this year. Only time will tell.