By Brian Webber: WBO 154-lb mandatory Tim Tszyu predicts undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo won’t see the 12th round on January 28th when the two meet in the main event live on Showtime at the Michelob Ultra Arena, Paradise, Nevada.
Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) is going to go after the aging 32-year-old Charlo from the beginning, putting pressure on him to get him out of there quickly.
Unlike Brian Castano, Tszyu isn’t going to let Charlo hang around until the later rounds so he can set one of his traps to land a big knockout blow.
It’s fair to say that Jermell’s confidence is through the roof after his tenth round knockout win over WBO 154-lb champion Castano last May in Carson, California.
The way Jermell has been talking since that victory did something to his self-confidence, making him believe that he’s unbeatable, and that could be a mistake on his part in having that kind of belief.
Charlo has always been a good fighter, but as we’ve seen in his fights with Tony Harrison, Austin Trout, and Vanes Martirosyan, he’s beatable.
Charlo doesn’t know what’s coming
“100%. They really don’t know what’s coming,” said Tim Tszyu to Fighthype when asked how confident he is of victory on January 28th against Jermell Charlo.
“We’ll have to see what Charlo does. I know what he brings. Then again, in the fight isn’t always different, and just be smart and not make mistakes.
“In that fight, I think I learned through the whole camp, and that’s why I came here to America to be able to acclimatize and be ready. The fighter I am now is completely different than the fighter I was back then,” Tszyu said about his recent fight against Terrell Gausha.
“You can’t make the same mistake over and over again. You make it once, and you adjust. Yes, I’m never going to get hit with that right hand ever again,” said Tszyu alluding to the right hand from Gausha that dropped him in the first round last March.
“Intelligence, man. I feel smarter, more comfortable,” said Tszyu when asked how he’s improved since the match against Gausha. “Before, I would just try and grind it, grind it and grind it. If you work with your brain in the fight, you’re able to control a lot of things,” said Tszyu.
The 35-year-old veteran Terrell Gausha surprisingly dropped Tszyu in the first round of their fight last March and was giving all he could handle in the first part of the fight.
Tszyu and power are what saved the day for him, as he went after Gausha and wore him down with heavy shots to the body & head in the second half of the contest to win a 12 round unanimous decision.
Tszyu will need to use head movement and employ a steady jab if he’s going to keep Jermell from being able to set up his big right hand knockout shot.
Charlo didn’t used to be a power puncher, but in the last three years, he’s made steady improvements in that area of his game. The first round knockout by Charlo against Erickson Lubin was a work of art.
Lubin made things easy for Jermell by ducking down low, allowing him to throw his signature punch, a chopping right hand. If Tszyu is wise, he’ll have studied that fight and won’t make the same critical error as Lubin by ducking low.
Pressure is key
“Sort of the GGG style. You’re there, but you’re not there,” said Tszyu. “You’re always in front of their face, but at the same time when they throw punches, they’re punching air,” Tszyu said when asked how he defines ‘intelligent pressure.’
“That’s what it is. You’re sucking the air out of someone. You’re basically dragging them down into the ocean and not letting them out.
“No, not really,” said Tszyu when asked if he got something from being able to stop Dennis Hogan faster than Jermall Charlo did. “I just wanted to get rid of him earlier, I guess. No mucking around.
“I was psyched,” said Tszyu about how confident he was on zoom in talking to Charlo. “I was the mandatory, so it’s not like he got to choose who he fights. You’ve got to be loud & vocal at times and be able to know how to do it.
“The energy will be there come January 28th. I’m at a good stage of my career, I feel good, and I’m coming. I don’t know. There’s no rematch clause,” Tszyu said when asked if this could be a two or three-fight series between him and Jermell.
“Once I do beat him, I don’t have to fight him. If it makes sense, yeah. Of course,” said Tszyu about a possible rematch with Charlo. “If it’s going to be fireworks, it’s going to be fireworks. I’m here for one thing, and that’s to win the fight by any means necessary.
“I have respect for Charlo. After watching him against Castano, he really did dig deep and traded those shots. It’s going to be a cracking fight.
“Don’t blink, that’s all I can say. That’s going to be my phrase. No, I’m not planning to,” Tszyu said when asked if the fight with Charlo is going to go 12.
“Kill or be killed. It is what it is. Kill or be killed, and I’m coming for one purpose. I’m just looking forward to this big opportunity. I can’t wait to get to Vegas.
“You’ve really got to shock him and catch him off guard, and don’t let him settle,” said Charlo. “I’m not coming in with a certain game plan that I have to certainly do.
“I’m going to come in and evaluated the scenario that we have in front of me and do better than him in every aspect and win the fight. I can’t really talk about me and Castano because we’re completely different styles.
“The main thing in boxing is progression and making your mistakes lesser. I think Castano is a bit smaller. I think my main strength is in my lower and upper body. Me and Castano has completely different styles,” said Tszyu.