By Adam Baskin: Undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo says he didn’t see anything from the performance of Tim Tszyu against Tony Harrison that he can’t deal with when the two eventually fight at the end of the summer.
Tszyu (22-0, 16 KOs) stopped the former WBC 154-lb champion Harrison (29-4-1, 21 KOs) in the ninth round earlier this month on March 12th in Sydney, Australia, and Jermell was one of the commentating team for Showtime Boxing for that fight.
Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) was critical of what he saw from Tszyu in that fight, failing to show lateral movement or “athleticism.”
Jermell says his coach would never allow him to fight the way the Tszyu-Harrison fight played out, which saw Harrison trading a lot of the time rather than using his feet to avoid risky exchanges with the heavy-handed Tszyu.
Charlo is still rehabbing a left-hand injury he sustained last December, and he’s hopeful of returning to the ring at the tail end of the summer, which could be September. That’s another five months from now, and Charlo could be dealing with a lot of ring rust by then.
Assuming Charlo faces Tszyu in September, that would be a year and a half of inactivity for him. Maybe that won’t negatively impact Jermell’s performance, but it could, and he might lose.
Jermell didn’t look sharp in either of his two fights with Brian Castano and was equally poor in his two matches against Tony Harrison. Charlo lost the first fight with Harrison in 2018 and was in the process of losing the rematch in 2019 when he scored a come from behind 11th round knockout.
“He’s strong and comes to fight, but it’s not nothing I haven’t seen before or dealt with. I’ve seen almost every style,” said Jermell Charlo to Showtime Sports when asked about him potentially defending his four junior middleweight titles against his WBO mandatory Tim Tszyu at the end of the summer.
“He’s got to do what I say do,” said Charlo about Tszyu. “Nothing works in his favor like it does in Australia. So it’ll be a completely different fight.
“I’m one of the most dominant [fighters] in the sport. I don’t think he has anything that he possesses that makes it tough for me that I can’t handle,” Jermell continued about Tszyu.
It would be smart for Charlo to take a tune-up before he mixes it up with Tszyu because he’s not going to be at his best coming off an 18-month layoff. Like Charlo’s twin brother, he’s not a spring chicken any longer.