By Huck Allen: Tim Tszyu wasn’t surprised at 154-lb four-belt champion Jermell Charlo choosing to move up to 168 to challenge Canelo Alvarez for his undisputed championship on September 30th.
Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) was supposed to defend his four 154-lb titles against his WBO mandatory Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs), who has been waiting for over a year for his mandated title shot against the Charlo twin.
Now, Tszyu ends up with nothing to show for the year that he’s waited for his chance to battle for Jermell’s undisputed junior middleweight championship, aside from his two stay-busy fights against Tony Harrison and Carlos Ocampo.
Win or lose against Canelo, it’s unlikely that the 33-year-old Jermell will return to the 154-lb division to defend his belts against Tszyu.
There’s no point in Jermell returning to the junior middleweight division because there is nothing but difficult fights for him as far as the eyes can see, and with him only making one defense per year, he’d be shot within two or three fights.
Jermell will make substantial money to fight Canelo on Showtime PPV on September 30th, and if he chooses to continue his career, he can get further massive paydays fighting David Benavidez and Caleb Plant at 168.
WBO president Paco Valcarcel says that if his organization strips Jermell of his title, Tszyu will be elevated to full champion. While that sounds great, it’s a small consolation for Tszyu because he would still be missing out on the chance for a massive fight against Charlo, a big payday, fighting for four titles, and the fame he could get for beating him.
If Tszyu is elevated to full WBO 154-lb champion, his first defense would likely be against one of these contenders:
1. Bakhram Murtazaliev
2. Josh Kelly
3. Charles Conwell
4. Xander Zayas
5. Danny Garcia
“[Jermell] had one last fight in him because he was going to lose. So he took the one with the bigger pay. He’s a businessman,” said Tim Tzyu to ESPN.
“[Jermell Charlo could come inside] the ring [versus Canelo] as the champion, but then right there, he is not the champion [at junior middleweight] anymore. If we strip Jermell of his title, Tim Tszyu becomes the full champion,” said WBO president Francisco Valcarcel to Coppinger.
It’s got to be thought for thee 28-year-old Tszyu, having lost a year of his career waiting on Jermeell, who was supposedly injured, but obviously, that’s now open for debate. Some boxing fans believe Jermell been negotiating all this time for the Canelo fight, which is disappointing.