Home Boxing News Tim Tszyu wants Brian Mendoza next after Jermell Charlo skipped out on...

Tim Tszyu wants Brian Mendoza next after Jermell Charlo skipped out on bout

Tim Tszyu. Photo credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

WBO interim junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu 23-0 (17) is targeting WBC counterpart Brian Mendoza 22-2 (16) for his next fight in a bid to prove who is the future of the 154-pound division.

The 28-year-old Australian has moved on with his career after twice having bouts against undisputed champion Jermell Charlo 35-1-1 (19) fall through.

American Charlo, 33, has opted to sidestep a mandatory title defence against Tszyu to jump up two weight classes to challenge WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 59-2-2 (39) of Mexico on September 30 instead.

Already this year Tszyu has knocked out American Tony Harrison 29-4-1 (21) – the only man to defeat Charlo – and Mexican number one Carlos Ocampo 35-3 (23).

A fight against Mendoza would continue this trend of facing the best available opposition. The 29-year-old American has claimed two big scalps himself in the past year, knocking out former unified champion Jeison Rosario 23-4-1 (17) and top five contender Sebastian Fundora 20-1-1 (13) in the mid rounds of his past two bouts.

“Right now, the top three in our division is Charlo, myself and then Mendoza,” Tszyu said to Fox Sports Australia. “He’s the WBC interim champion, sharp and slippery, throws unorthodox punches.

“And he has power in both hands. Boasts highlight reel knockouts.

“So when you look at his last few performances and my last few performances, it’s the fireworks fight of the division right now.”

Tszyu said he could not afford to make a mistake against Mendoza, who caught 6-foot-6 southpaw Fundora out of position with an overhand right that ended the fight in the seventh round.

“With the Fundora KO, it was all timing. Caught him off guard,” Tszyu said. “Fundora’s hand was placed just slightly where it shouldn’t have been – and that’s all it took.

“I respect every fighter who gets into the ring. And as a potential opponent, I respect Mendoza. But I’m not the type of guy who gives out kisses, hugs or appreciation posts.

“I just know, if a fight between us gets signed, I’ll need to be switched on for every second I’m in there.

“Because in boxing, you have distractions right throughout a fight, so I’ll have to work on staying sharp for the whole 12 rounds.”

At the start of the month the WBO announced that Charlo would enter the ring against Alvarez as their junior middleweight champion but as soon as the bell rings, Tsyzu would be elevated to full champion status.

The move came as no surprise to Tszyu, who said it was the right thing to do.

“Because when you do the wrong thing like he has, you deserve to be stripped,” said the Aussie who has been slated to fight Charlo twice.

“So I’m glad the WBO went and did the right thing.

“It also means my name will be remembered forever on that list of world champions.

“And this belt, it won’t have just been handed to me.

“I won the interim title from a guy like Tony Harrison… so nothing has been just given to me.”