Home Boxing News Tim Tszyu expects tough challenge from Brian Mendoza but vows to be...

Tim Tszyu expects tough challenge from Brian Mendoza but vows to be victorious

Tim Tszyu. Photo credit: David Clark/News Corp Australia

WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu 23-0 (17) has promised not to underestimate Brian Mendoza 22-2 (16) ahead of his first world title defence at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach, Australia on October 15.

The 28-year-old Sydneysider was elevated to full champion from interim status when former undisputed 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo 35-2-1 (19) was stripped of his WBO belt when he stepped through the ropes to face undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 60-2-2 (39) in Las Vegas last weekend.

Tszyu played a straight bat when asked what he made of Mendoza’s confidence.

“I’ll find out fight night. We’ll see,” Tszyu said to Jai McAllister on his YouTube channel. “Everybody can be confident, but it all changes when you’re hit in the face. It all changes when you’re put in with someone of a different breed. I know I am [a different breed], so we’ll see.”

American Mendoza, 29, flew into town yesterday on the back to two impressive knockout victories over former unified champion Jeison Rosario 23-4-1 (17) and towering southpaw contender Sebastian Fundora 20-1-1 (13).

Rosario was stopped in five in November last year while back in April Fundora was stretched in seven.

“It was a nice highlight reel. It was a pretty good knockout, really,” Tszyu said about Mendoza’s most recent victory. “The uppercut is a nice one. It’s nice when you land a shot like that. It’s a good feeling.

“It’ll be a tremendous challenge for myself against a style that I haven’t faced before, but I’m aware this is the next 1%, and to be in that next 0.01%, you have to take out every 1-percenter out there.

“I think he’s motivated, training hard and surrounded by boxing people. That’s about it. I don’t focus much on my opponent. I just focus on myself.

“I don’t really like to talk to my opponents. There’s not much to talk about. I’m not friends with them at that given time.”

Tszyu has held his recent training camps in the United States and expects that country to see a whole lot more of him in the future.

“I think this will be my last fight in Australia for a bit of time. It feels like home. I feel comfortable there,” said Tszyu.

“That’s where dreams of made of for my career.”

Tszyu was scheduled to face Charlo in January before the 33-year-old American suffered a hand injury that forced the postponement of the bout.

When the opportunity came up to face Alvarez, the Houston boxer took that fight instead.

Now with a second loss on his ledger and a likely return to the junior middleweight division, former boxer turned pundit Paulie Malignaggi believes Charlo should target Tszyu if the Australian is successful against Mendoza.

“Instead of getting [undisputed welterweight champion Terence] Crawford, he should now have to fight Tim Tszyu after that performance. And if he beats Tim Tszyu, then maybe he can get Crawford,” Malignaggi said on his YouTube channel Paulie TV.

“But I don’t think Jermell Charlo is hungry and getting this 20 million racks is going to make him less hungry. I think if he fights Tim Tszyu, Tim Tszyu knocks him out. Jermell at his best was world class, but this is not a hungry fighter.”

“This is not a guy who wants to fight, this is a guy who wants to steal the bank and who is looking for a free cheque.”