By Jack Tiernan: Tim Tszyu admits that he was “shocked” and bitterly disappointed at learning that undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo had suffered two breaks in his left hand, meaning their scheduled January 28th fight had to be postponed until a later date.
Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) says he was in excellent shape already, and he’d planned on shocking the world by beating the four-belt champion Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs).
The 28-year-old Tszyu doesn’t believe that Charlo faked his left hand injury to buy more time or to stall out the fight, hoping that Tim will lose interest and move on. Some fans believe Jermell lost his nerve and chose to fake a hand to escape a possible knockout loss.
With the Charlo-Tszyu fight now postponed until likely July or August, Tszyu says he’ll be returning to his native Australia and will be taking a fight over there to stay busy while he waits for Jermell to heal up for their mega-fight in the summer.
Tszyu didn’t mention who he could be fighting next, but because he’s talking about the bout taking place in Australia, it’s probable that he’ll be facing one of the locals.
A good option for Tszyu would be middleweight Michael Zerafa (31-4, 19 KOs), as long as a good catchweight could be agreed on. With that said, it’s doubtful that Zerafa would agree to fight Tszyu because he’s ranked #1 WBA, which puts him in a position to challenge champion Gennadiy Golovkin.
When Tszyu was asked if he’d be interested in fighting with welterweight Terence Crawford at 154, he answered in the affirmative, as long as it made sense.
Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) has talked of moving up to 154 if there are no opportunities for exciting fights for him at 147, which could be the case after he messed up things for a mega-bout with Errol Spence Jr by walking away from their negotiations to take a low-level contest against David Avanesyan on BLK Prime PPV.
The chances of a Crawford fight happening next for Tszyu are virtually zero because the Nebraska native will be hanging around 147 for a bit longer, waiting to see if PBC will contact him to restart the negotiations.
“I was shattered because I’m in crazy shape already. I was excited about the opportunity, and I was really ready for it. I knew I was going to shock the world, but these things happen,” said Tim Tszyu to ESNEWS, reacting to Jermell Charlo suffering a broken hand.
“It’s one of those things that you can’t help it. I’m lucky & blessed that it’s not me. It could be worse. It could be me with a cast and a broken hand.
“I’m nice & healthy, and I’m fit. I just wish Charlo a quick recovery, and we’ll get it on in the not-too-distant future. There’s always going to be people judging no matter what you do,” said Tszyu about the many boxing fans on social media that believe Jermell is faking his injury to his left hand.
“For us boxers, we’re in the spotlight. When you’re in the spotlight, there are going to be opinions coming left, right and center. Don’t read it. For me, boxing is about progression, getting better & better each day,” said Tszyu when asked if he’s still going to be fighting on the January 28th card.
“We’ll stay in the gym and be here for another three weeks, and we’ll go back. I have a promoter in Australia that’s currently planning something ahead. Hopefully, a big event in Australia, and then we’ll be back in the States for the mega-bout against Charlo.
“To me, it doesn’t matter. Whoever it is, every fight is the same,” said Tszyu when asked how he feels about his fight with Jermell not happening. “It’s the same intensity, same feeling. It’s just a different opponent. I’m so motivated.
“I’m always in here [the gym]. I’m competing with myself. Being better than I was the day before.
“It was a big shock,” said Tszyu about the reaction from his fans in Australia about Charlo’s broken hand. “They’ll get a refund. My apologies to everyone. It’s part of the game. We’re always going to be in the gym no matter what.
“Crawford? If the opportunity presents it,” said Tszyu when asked if he’d be interested in fighting Terence Crawford at 154. “I think it’s massive in Australia. Stylistically, it’s going to be a fun fight, but I’m a much bigger boy than Crawford. It’ll be an interesting fight.
“I really rate Crawford up there as one of the highest IQs in the world. If everything makes sense, that’s what it’s all about. There’s so much involved. The networks, the promoters, and the managers. Everything has to align perfectly.
“Australia has good boxing fans. They’re really involved in boxing. Yeah, for sure,” said Tszyu when asked if he still thinks he’ll get the Charlo fight. “I’ll be there. For me, I’m not going to start getting smashed and eating.”