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Tim Tszyu still not ready for the best of the best, says former world champion

Tim Tszyu. Photo credit: Gregg Porteous/No Limit Boxing

WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu 24-0 (17) needs to be careful what he wishes for.

The 28-year-old Australian is coming off a career-best win over Ring Magazine number three contender Brian ‘La Bala’ Mendoza 22-3 (16) at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia on Sunday afternoon local time.

After a measured start Tszyu took full control of the bout in the second half of the fight, strafing American Mendoza, 29, with hard shots to the body and head. It was remarkable he didn’t go down and stuck around to hear the final bell.

In the end all three judges had the bout for Tszyu by scores of 116-112, 116-111 and 117-111.

“He was doing all these weird noises in one of the rounds and I was like, man how is he still standing?” said Tszyu, the Ring Magazine number one contender at 154-pounds.

“I was landing all these uppercuts and he’s got heart, that’s for sure. A lot of fighters would have quit, that’s facts.”

The win impressed retired former world champion turned Showtime commentator Shawn Porter, who was in Australia to cover the fight.

“People always say never change… he just seems to be calm, cool and collected all the time. Even after a big win,” Porter said.

“He fought lights out. I felt like outside of one round it was a shutout. Even with that, he’s still humble. Not too overly excited – and still looking forward to what the future has for him.”

Tszyu, who holds his training camps in the United States, has made it clear that he wants all his fights in the foreseeable future to take place in Las Vegas.

And he wants nothing but the big names too. Former undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo 35-2-1 (19) – who still holds the WBC, WBA and IBF belts – is one name in the frame.

“Charlo, where you at? Where you at buddy?” Tszyu said immediately after the fight. “In his delusional head, he’s probably saying he’s going to beat me. Come get it.”

Two other boxers Tszyu has frequently mentioned fighting are undisputed welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 40-0 (31) and undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 60-2-2 (39).

“If you don’t want fights like those (against Alvarez and Crawford) you’re in the wrong sport,” Tsyzu said. “So of course, I’d grab them with both hands.”

According to Porter, those two names are a bridge too far at this stage of Tszyu’s career.

“That Tim Tszyu does not beat Terence Crawford. He needs more defence and a little more footwork. Those are intangibles you’ve just got to have against Terence Crawford,” Porter said.

“And he’s not on Canelo’s radar, so we don’t really need to talk about that fight. But (with Canelo fighting) at 168 (pounds)… if Tim goes up to 168 he’s going to lack the power and strength needed to fend off a Canelo for 12 consecutive rounds.

“But outside of that though, you guys have got a real champion here.”