Tim Tszyu looking past Dennis Hogan, calls out Brian Castano and Jermell Charlo
Highly touted Australian star Tim Tszyu will face former two-time world title challenger Dennis Hogan over 10 rounds in a junior middleweight contest at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre in Newcastle (2 hours north of Sydney) in New South Wales on Wednesday.
Tszyu, who is rated No. 9 by The Ring at 154 pounds, is looking forward to showcasing his skills against his countryman.
“I’m excited to be back,” Tszyu (17-0, 13 knockouts) told The Ring. “I get to climb up the rankings and [show everyone] what I’ve been doing in camp. I’m coming in for one reason and that’s to take him out.”
The 26-year-old feels that the performance against Hogan will be a good yardstick in terms of assessing his abilities on the world scene.
“It gives you a bit of an idea where you’re at,” said Tszyu. “He’s only lost against the big boys. He’s just under the world-class level but he’s up there.
“Every fight, I have to make a statement. I’ve got to keep doing what I’m doing. The best thing about Australia is we’re flying under the radar. When I do get that opportunity to fight the big boys, it’s going to come out of nowhere.”
The popular son of former undisputed junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu fought in front of sizeable crowds for both of his fights last year and expects to do so again for this outing.
“We don’t have a stadium for this fight, but we have a big convention center, so we’re gonna stack it out,” he said. “It’s a country town, the whole city’s buzzing, and it was sold out within a week. It shows how excited everyone is.
“We’ve had to do what we’ve had to do logistically and we can’t complain. We’ve grown here in Australia and at the same time gone up in the world rankings. We’ve fought a former world champion (former WBO welterweight titleholder Jeff Horn), cleaned out the division, and I think we’ve done good things in Australia.”
Tszyu knows that there are some really good fights out there if he can overcome Hogan.
“There’s plenty of fights to be made,” he acknowledged. “I’m just excited for the future after this fight.
“I’ll be watching Liam Smith-Magomed Kurbanov [May 8] real closely, that’s an interesting fight. Danny Garcia’s moving up to 154, that’s another interesting fight. Of course, there’s [Brian] Castano and [Jermell] Charlo. I’m the No. 1 with the WBO, so I’d love to have that fight with Castano… and Charlo.
“I’ve said from the get-go, I want the big boys with the world titles. I think the only thing stopping me is Covid. If it wasn’t for that, we’d be there punching them in the face.”
Hogan (28-3-1, 7 KOs) turned professional in 2011. He won 22 of his first 23 fight, the lone blemish being a draw in his third outing. He lost for the first time when he met former amateur standout Jack Culcay (UD 12) in December 2015. Hogan rebounded to win six fights before narrowly losing to then-WBO junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia (MD 12). That performance was enough to earn a fight with WBC middleweight beltholder Jermall Charlo, who stopped him in seven rounds, in December 2019.