By Sam Volz: The WBO has given a time limit of September 30th for IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo to defend against his mandatory Tim Tszyu.
For the September 30th date to play out, Tszyu (22-0, 16 KOs) must successfully defend his WBO interim 154-lb title on June 18th in his fight against Carlo Ocampo (34-2, 22 KOs) at the Gold Coast Convention Centre, Broadbeach, Australia.
The World Boxing Organization’s order puts pressure on not only Tszyu but also the 32-year-old Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs), who has been slow in healing after suffering a broken left hand last year.
Hopefully, Jermell doesn’t pull up lame again with another injury while training because the WBO will need to make decision on what to do with him.
Charlo hasn’t fought since his win over WBO junior middleweight champion Brian Castano in May 2022, and his titles have been frozen all this time.
For Jermell, it’s not unusual for him to fight just once a year, as he’s been doing that since 2020, but the WBO doesn’t appear to be willing to let him stretch out his inactivity for much longer.
Some fans believe Charlo is enjoying the money he’s made and is not in a hurry to get back to the gym to put in the grueling hard work involved in preparing for a dangerous puncher like Tszyu.
Jermell will need to do a lot of sparring with powerful 154-pounders to get him ready for Tszyu, and it’s understandable if he’s not eager to get back into the struggle of training for this fight. Jermell has made a lot of money, and like his twin brother Jermall, he’s living high on the hog in his mansion in Houston, driving fancy cars.
“It’s massive. It’s the news we’ve been waiting on but again highlights just how big a risk Tim’s fight next month on the Gold Coast is,” said Tszyu’s promoter George Rose.
“If Tim’s loses, it’s over. No Charlo, no undisputed, no nothing.”
“After all the waiting and uncertainty, it’s crazy to think it’s Jermell Charlo who has the advantage…He’s prepping now and doesn’t have a world-class, tough Mexican in Carlos Ocampo trying to take everything away from him.
“Sunday June 18 has just become a whole lot bigger. The stakes couldn’t be higher. His shot at undisputed depends on it.”