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Should Jermell Charlo fight Tim Tszyu or Sebastian Fundora next?

Image: Should Jermell Charlo fight Tim Tszyu or Sebastian Fundora next?

By Sean Jones: Jermell Charlo cemented himself in as the #1 fighter at 154 last Saturday night by destroying Brian Castano by a tenth-round knockout to become the first-ever undisputed champion at junior middleweight.

Jermell now must make a fast decision whether to defend against Tim Tszyu or Sebastian ‘Towering Inferno’ Fundora next, both of which attended his fight last Saturday night against Castano.

In the afterglow of his magnificent victory, Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) is already being put in the position where he must decide quickly which of his three mandatory challengers he should fight next.

Jermell Charlo’s mandatory challengers:

  • Tim Tszyu
  • Sebastian ‘Towering Inferno’ Fundora
  • Bakhram Murtazaliev

WBO mandatory Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) has already let the media know that Jermell has 90 days to decide whether to defend against him next.

If he fails to fight him, he must vacate his World Boxing Organization 154-lb title because he’s already been waiting two years for his mandated shot at the title.

Nevertheless, it won’t be a big deal if Charlo vacates his WBO title because he still will have three other belts, and he can make big bank defending against his WBC mandatory Fundora (19-0-1, 13 KOs) next.

You can argue that U.S boxing fans would prefer to see Jermell face Fundora next because it’s one that would sell to the Americans more than a defense against the Australian Tszyu.

Fundora is arguably the more proven commodity, having beaten this murderer’s row of talented fighters:

  • Erickson Lubin
  • Sergio Garcia
  • Jorge Cota
  • Nathaniel Gallimore
  • Habib Ahmed

In comparison, the only name on Tszyu’s six-year professional resume is Terrell Gausha, and he had to get up off the deck in the first round to come back to defeat him by a narrow 12-round unanimous decision last March.

“I can’t say enough about Jermell and DJ [Derrick James],” said Leonard Ellerbe to Fighthype when asked about his thoughts on Jermell Charlo’s tenth-round knockout win over Brian Castano.

“Derrick James is showing you guys why he’s the best trainer out there,” Ellerbe continued about Charlo’s trainer. “He went out there and executed and did his thing [against Brian Castano].

“Castano, a tremendous fighter. He kept the pressure on [Jermell]. They were bumping. It was a great fight for the fans, I really, really enjoyed it, and Jermell continues to show you why he’s one of the best fighters in the world.

“He steps up at the right time. In these championship fights, he’s knocking these mother f**** out! He’s not winning decisions. Thank you, and against very good fighters. He might be a little behind a bit and then comes on. There’s a method to his madness.

“I love the fact that he has a chip on his shoulder. That’s my kind of guy. It’s us against the world. There’s a reason he’s that way because he don’t get the respect that he deserves.

“He should have been on that bull s*** [pound-for-pound] list that these writers come up with. He should have been on that list,” said Ellerbe.

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