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Tim Tszyu says he’s ready for ‘grumpy’ Jermell Charlo after Charlo hints at 2023 matchup

Tim Tszyu (left) having his gloves tied - Photo by Ryan Hafey - Premier Boxing Champions
13
Jul

Jermell Charlo will make his first defense as undisputed junior middleweight champion against WBO no. 1 contender Tim Tszyu. The main question left to be resolved is when it will happen.

The announcement came Tuesday on Instagram, with Charlo (35-1-1, 19 knockouts) initially announcing January 28 as the date, before removing the date and including both the U.S. flag and Tszyu’s home flag of Australia.

The World Boxing Organization, which recognizes Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) as the no. 1 contender, ordered the mandatory bout on May 31, just two weeks after the 32-year-old Charlo knocked out Brian Castano in ten rounds to annex that belt and become undisputed champion at 154 pounds.

The two parties agreed to terms on the bout in June, avoiding a purse bid between the two camps. Charlo has long been represented by Premier Boxing Champions, while Tszyu signed with the U.S. based outfit earlier this year.



Tszyu made his U.S. and PBC debut in March, overcoming a first round knockdown to outpoint 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in Minneapolis.

The 27-year-old Tszyu tells FoxSports that he’d like to have the fight the fight take place in Las Vegas – where his father Kostya Tszyu knocked out Zab Judah in 2001 to become undisputed champion at junior welterweight.

“I feel like I’m ready for it,” Tszyu told foxsports.com.au on Tuesday. “It’s quite simple. You know, when people doubt you, you just want to prove them wrong.”

The two have traded harsh words in the press, with Charlo telling a reporter “F–k you and Tim ‘Kazoo'” when asked about fighting the unbeaten Australian after knocking out Castano in their rematch.

“I’ve sort of accepted this guy’s just an angry man,” Tszyu said. “He’s like an old man who is just grumpy and angry all the time.”

Tszyu isn’t the only mandatory challenger that Charlo has to come to terms with. 

Russia’s Bakhram Murtazaliev (20-0, 15 knockouts), who has been next in line for an IBF title shot since November of 2019, also fought on the same PBC card as Tszyu in March. A deal would likely have to be met for Murtazaliev to step aside again to make way for the Charlo-Tszyu fight.

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