WBO orders Jermell Charlo to defend against Tim Tszyu

By Boxing News - 05/31/2022 - Comments

By Robert Segal: Undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo has now officially been ordered to defend his WBO title against mandatory Tim Tszyu by the sanctioning body.

Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) and the unbeaten #1 WBO Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) have 20 days to hammer out a deal before the WBO orders a purse bid.

The way Tszyu looked in his last fight against Terrell Gausha in March, he will have a lot of problems against Charlo. Tszyu barely beat the the34-year-old Gausha and was knocked down in that fight.

An ideal scenario for Tszyu is if Charlo decides to vacate his WBO title to move up to 160 to go after bigger & better things in that weight class.

Should the 32-year-old Jermell choose not to defend against Tszyu, the WBO title will be stripped from him and fought over by Tim and the next highest-ranked available contender in the World Boxing Organization, which in this case would be former champion Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith.

If Charlo opts to vacate his WBO belt, he’ll still possess the IBF, WBA & WBC 154-lb belts and would have easier options to choose from.

Fighting Liam would be a far more winnable match for Tszyu than taking on the far more experienced Charlo, who is in the zenith of his career.

Tszyu would have a far better chance of beating the easy-to-hit 33-year-old ‘Beefy’ Smith (31-3-1, 18 KOs) than taking on Jermell.

Jermell is fighting Tszyu at the ideal time

This is the perfect time for Jermell to fight the 27-year-old Tszyu because he’s still developing as a fighter and has mainly faced fringe-level opposition up to this pointing his career.

Tszyu’s promoters in Australia have kept him safe, fighting guys that were no threat to beating him, like Dennis Hogan, Jeff Horn, and Steve Spark.

While Tszyu’s handlers have done an admirable job of guiding him to a world title fight against Charlo, their good intentions have hurt his development.

Jermell’s IBF mandatory is Bakhram Murtazaliev, and that’s a far easier fight for him on paper than facing the heavy-handed Tszyu.

Things get dicey for Charlo is with him needing to defend against his WBA mandatory Israil Madrimov sooner or later and facing #1 WBC Tony Harrison in a trilogy.

However, Jermell will likely choose to vacate his four titles and move up to 160 rather than waste any more time at 154, defending his belts against fighters that bring nothing to the table.

Holding onto the four 154-lb belts is more trouble than it’s worth for Jermell, and he can make more money by moving up to 160.

If Jermell moves to 160, he would be in striking distance to get a massive career payday against Canelo Alvarez in the same way his arguably less ambitious twin brother Jermall Charlo is.

Tim Tszyu’s recent opposition:

Terrell Gausha – UD 12
Takeshi Inoue – UD 12
Steve Spark -TKO 3
Dennis Hogan – TKO 5
Bowyn Morgan – TKO 1
Jeff Horn – TKO 8
Jack Brubaker – TKO 4
Dwight Ritchie – UD 10

Tszyu’s promoters should have moved him up a long time ago against world-class opposition because they’ve waited too long.

For him to be pushing 28 and only now being matched against quality opposition, it’s disappointing, to say the least. The way Tszyu struggled against Gausha, it’s obvious that he needs more experience before fighting Charlo.

Jermell Charlo is coming off a tenth-round knockout win over WBO 154-lb champion Brian Castano in their rematch on May 14th.

That was a far better performance by Charlo than in their first fight a year earlier, which was scored a questionable 12-round draw.

Castano outworked Jermell in the first fight, and many boxing fans felt that he’d been given the shaft by the judges in San Antonio, Texas.

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