Home Boxing News Tim Tszyu ready to face Jermell Charlo in the US, says he...

Tim Tszyu ready to face Jermell Charlo in the US, says he will give Bakhram Murtazaliev first crack at titles

Tim Tszyu

WBO number one junior middleweight contender Tim ‘The Soul Taker’ Tszyu 21-0 (15) has no qualms about travelling to the US to face undisputed 154-pound champion Jermell ‘Iron Man’ Charlo 35-1-1 (19).

American Charlo, 32, added the WBO strap to his WBC, WBA and IBF belts with a dominant 10th round knockout of Argentinean Brian ‘El Boxi’ Castano 17-1-2 (12) in their rematch last month.

Australian Tszyu had hoped to bring the Charlo fight to the Sydney Football Stadium, but with the deadline for a deal to reached expiring next Monday, that plan seems unlikely.

Texan Charlo is not keen to travel and as undisputed champion he holds all the cards. He has previously fought right across the US, including venues in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Brooklyn, San Antonio and Houston.

The 27-year-old Tszyu says he is unfazed where the bout takes place.

“Of course it’s a big ask, fighting the top bloke in the division in his backyard, but once you’re in the ring it’s one-on-one, it doesn’t matter what friends or family are there or where it’s at, it doesn’t bother me,” Tszyu said to News Corp.

There is still one spanner in the works that could prevent the Charlo-Tszyu fight from happening. This week the IBF claimed their long-time number one contender Bakhram Murtazaliev 20-0 (15) deserved first shot at the undisputed champ.

The 29-year-old Russian has been the New Jersey-based sanctioning body’s top contender for two years.

“There exists a contract for Jermell Charlo to fight against Bakhram Murtazaliev and it appears that the WBO is interfering with that contract and with the prospective economic advantage of Bakhram Murtazaliev,” Murtazaliev’s lawyer Pat English wrote in a letter to the WBO.

“Charlo agreed that he had ten days to either relinquish the title or he would proceed to fight Bakhram, who is the IBF mandatory. Charlo did not relinquish the IBF title and plans have been proceeding for that match.”

As a way to appease the Murtazaliev camp, Tszyu has offered the undefeated boxer first crack at the four belts should he come out victorious against Charlo.

“We’re ready, and there’s genuine interest behind it. Murtazaliev, people have got no idea about him, Charlo needs interesting bouts and this one makes sense,” Tszyu said.

“If it’s meant to be it will be, my training hasn’t stopped.

“I would have loved to have the fight at the new Sydney Football Stadium, but if it means I’ve got to go to America to get this fight I’ll go there, no problems.

“I’d like to fight him in Las Vegas, that’s where the biggest boxing events have always been. Murtazaliev has been waiting in line a long time, he deserves a shot as well, so 100 per cent I will give him first crack if I beat Charlo.”