Tim Tszyu vs. Tony Harrison on March 12th for WBO interim 154-lb title in Australia
By Brian Webber: Tim Tszyu will be taking on former WBC 154-lb champion Tony Harrison for the interim WBO junior middleweight title on March 12th in Australia.
The winner of the Tszyu – Harrison fight on March 12th will face undisputed champion Jermell Charlo after he’s physically able to return to action.
Tszyu & Harrison are fighting due to the hand injury undisputed 154-lb champion Jermell Charlo suffered in training, which is expected to keep him on the shelf for much of the first half of 2023.
The unbeaten Jermell might not be 100% ready to defend his four belts against the Tszyu-Harrison fight until July or August.
Rather than Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) sitting inactive until Charlo is healthy enough to fight, he’ll face the 32-year-old ‘Super Bad’ Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs) for the interim WBO 154-lb title.
With Tszyu having been inactive since his 12 round unanimous decision victory over Terrell Gausha last March, it was important that he get back in the ring for a fight.
If Tszyu had chosen to wait until Jermell was back from his broken left hand, he’d have been out of the ring for a year and a half. The ring rust would give Charlo a huge advantage over Tszyu and perhaps enough for him to get through this fight without being dethroned.
“I think Australia is going to erupt. I haven’t fought for almost a year and a half back home, and I know it’s going to be the biggest show yet,” said Tszyu.
“But his biggest problem he’s running into isn’t the fans; it’s me. He (Harrison) was the next best available option. I’m at that stage of my career where I don’t care who is in front of me. I’m ready to take them all out.”
Fighting Harrison will be an excellent fight to set the table for a huge Charlo vs. Tszyu fight in the summer.
The 32-year-old Harrison is ranked #2 WBC & #3 WBO, and is coming off a 10 round unanimous decision win over Sergio Garcia last April. Before that, Harrison fought to a 12 round draw against Bryant Perrella in April 2021.
Inactivity has been a big issue with Harrison, as he’s only fought twice since losing his WBC 154-lb title to Jermell by an eleventh-round knockout in December 2021. The lack of activity for Harrison could put him at a huge disadvantage when he gets in with the 28-year-old Tszyu.
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