Home Boxing News Jermell Charlo no longer features in Tim Tszyu’s future plans

Jermell Charlo no longer features in Tim Tszyu’s future plans

Tim Tszyu. Photo credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu 23-0 (17) spent years chasing a shot a WBC, WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine champion Jermell Charlo 35-2-1 (19), but now it seems he has moved on.

The 33-year-old Charlo from Houston, Texas jumped up two weight classes to challenge undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 60-2-2 (39) in Las Vegas last month, losing a wide unanimous decision to the Mexican superstar in a largely safety-first effort that won him few fans.

While Charlo was stinking out the T-Mobile Arena, Tszyu was elevated from interim to full WBO champion as Charlo was stripped of the title. He will make the first defence of the belt against American Brian ‘La Bala’ Mendoza 22-2 (16) at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach, Australia on Sunday afternoon local time.

Charlo said he planned on moving back down to the 154-pound weight class in the wake of his loss to Alvarez, but don’t expect Tszyu to be welcoming him back with open arms.

The 28-year-old Sydneysider has other opponents on his hit list according to his promoter George Rose.

“Brian Mendoza, Errol Spence, Terence Crawford, Canelo Alvarez… that’s what is next for Tim Tszyu,” No Limit CEO Rose said to Fox Sports Australia.

“First, Tim has got a real dangerous challenge on his hands in Mendoza. He’s easily the top of the division alongside Tim and his knockout power is vicious.

“But if Tim can get through what will be his toughest test to date this Sunday, then it’s only the biggest and best fights for him after that.

“And there are no bigger fights in boxing than taking down some of the world’s biggest pound-for-pound fighters in consecutive fights.

“Charlo had his chance and he ran. He literally ran.

“He ran from fighting Tim for the undisputed title and then he ran around the ring all the way to the bank against Canelo.

“And given Tim is the most active fighter in the world right now, he isn’t going to sit around and wait for Charlo to decide if and when he’s going to come back to the division.

“Of course we want Tim to become the undisputed champion of the world, but when the guy who has the other belts has one fight every one or two years it’s not good business.”

Before he can think of future bouts, Tszyu must get past the dangerous Mendoza. The 29-year-old is on a three knockout streak that includes upset wins over former undisputed champion Jeison Rosario and top contender Sebastian Fundora.

“Boxing is my only passion. It’s the only thing I care about,” Mendoza said. “I’ve made jokes before about how I don’t sing in the shower, I shadow box.

“That’s how obsessed I am. Always thinking combinations, visualising.

“This is all I have and against Rosario I thought, ‘I’m not letting him take this away from me’. It was kill or be killed that night.

“I knew I would do whatever it took. I didn’t care who was across from me, it could’ve been Mike Tyson. You had to kill me to beat me that night.

“Even in the next fight and now this one, it’s all or nothing. No fear.”

As confident as he in in his own ability, Mendoza knows he has no easy mark in front of him in Tszyu.

“He’s earning it,” Mendoza said of the hype around Tszyu. “I know he’s trying to prove that he’s not his father’s son, that he is his own person. And he’s proving it each time out. He’s doing his job so far.

“Tony Harrison, that’s his biggest win, and shows something… (but) even the (Terrell) Gausha fight proved he can get dropped and he won’t give up.

“He’s not going to fold under the pressure.”