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Tim Tszyu tells Jermell Charlo: “Fight me or vacate”

Jermell Charlo, Tim Tszyu boxing photo

By Sam Volz: Tim Tszyu says Jermell Charlo will need to fight him whether he wants to or not if he wants to keep his WBO junior middleweight title to remain an undisputed champion.

It would be a shame for Charlo to lose his undisputed status immediately for lack of interest in facing the dangerous puncher Tszyu, but that would be his decision.

Last Saturday night, Charlo, 31, defeated WBO 154-lb champion Brian Castano (17-1-2, 12 KOs) by a tenth-round knockout to become the first-ever undisputed champion at junior middleweight at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) has several months to decide whether he wants to defend his WBO title against Tszyu. If not, Charlo will need to vacate his WBO belt, according to Tszyu.

The unbeaten Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) is ranked #1 with the WBO and is Charlo’s mandatory challenger with that organization. If Charlo has made up his mind that he wants no part of the heavy-handed Tszyu, he’ll need to vacate or wait until the World Boxing Organization strips him.

“I’m here to try to take you out. If you want to punch on, I’m always keen,” said Tszyu to Fox Sports AU. “I’m the mandatory challenger. He has a few months to make a decision, or he vacates the belt. Fight me or vacate – that’s all there is.”

The way that Jermell was talking at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night, it’s very likely he’ll vacate his WBO title rather than fight Tszyu.

It would be a real shame if Charlo chooses to swerve Tszyu because that would be a much bigger fight than his last two against the Argentinian Castano. Going into both of those fights, the boxing public saw those as slam dunk wins for Charlo, but they turned out to be anything but.

Although Charlo did win the rematch with Castano last Saturday night, it was still a close fight, involving a lot of two-way action. If Jermell fights Tszyu, there would be a very real chance that he gets knocked out, particularly if he fights off the ripes as frequently as he did in both of his matches against Castano.

“He’s a very disrespectful man. So stuff him I don’t like him anyway,” Tszyu said.

“Ultimately, if he wants to fight, there’s me and Fundora. I think me and him will sell because there’s no love between us too. It’s all hate.”

“I’m a walking zombie; I’m ten times stronger and bigger than Castano,” said Tszyu.

The power that the 27-year-old Tszyu possesses is far and away well beyond that of Castano, and that’s the problem. Charlo hasn’t fought anyone with the kind of power and machine-like aggressiveness that Tszyu possesses. If Jermell does take the fight with Tszyu, he could be sorry he did so.

Jermell’s twin brother, Jermall, wants him to vacate his four 154-lb titles and move up to 160. Maybe he knows something that we don’t about Jermell’s ability to hold onto his four junior middleweight straps.




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