By Matt Lieberman: WBO 154-lb mandatory Tim Tszyu wants undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo stripped of his four titles, given that he’s moving up to 168 to challenge four-belt champion Canelo Alvarez for his straps on September 30th.
WBO interim champion Tszyu was next in line to challenge Jermell for his undisputed 154-lb championship in October, but not anymore. With Jermell leaving his titles behind to go pick up a bag against Canelo, the belts should all be stripped.
Jermell should have done the right thing by vacating his titles as soon as his contract was signed to fight Canelo. That would have been the honorable thing for Jermell to have done because he likely knows already that he won’t be returning to the 154-lb division to continue to defend his titles.
Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) is obviously holding onto his titles at 154 just in case things don’t go well against Canelo. If he loses thaat fight, then he’ll want to return to the 154-lb division to resume defending them. It’s not convenient for Tszyu because he’ll need to wait until likely 2024 before he gets a chance to fight for the belts.
There’s a good chance that Tszyu will be elevated from interim WBO 154-lb champion to full champ once Jermell is stripped, or he vacates. If that happens, Tszyu will need to defend against his #1 contender Josh Kelly, who was elevated to the top spot on Tuesday by thee World Boxingg Organization.
Tszyu wants Jermell stripped
“I thought, ‘This can’t be real,’ and then I saw it on the Canelo official page,” said Tim Tszyu to Fight Hub TV about Jermell Charlo fighting Canelo Alvarez next on September 30.
“Canelo? He’s the face of boxing. So if anyone gets offered that fight, they’re going to take it. The fact that he [Jermell] hasn’t fought in a year and a half. I’ve been mandated to fight for the WBO title. It’s too much politics.
“If he’s not fighting, the belts have to be vacated. It’s quite simple. It’s not fair. The whole division is being held up because of him,” Tszyu said about Jermell. “It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
It’s not realistic for Tszyu to assume that Jermell will vacate, as that’s not going to happen. He’s obviously holding onto those belts as insurance in case h loses to Canelo. Would Charlo vacate? It’s not likely.
In theory, the WBO could strip Jermell of his title and elevate Tszyu, but that would be self-defeating on their part because Charlo is a popular fighter in the U.S.
“There is a bit of anger. Of course, there’s a bit of anger,” said Tszyu. “He’s been on my hit list for such a long time. He’s been my goal. Everything was discussed, everything was ready, and then his brother decided to pull off something, and Jermell decided to take it.
“I think it was going to be in Vegas on October 14th. I think it was the MGM,” said Tszyu when he and Jermell were supposed to fight. “I’m not sure [what’s going to happen with Jermell’s four titles], but I think he should be stripped,” said Tszyu.
It would be a good idea for Tszyu to put Jermell out of his mind permanently because it’s aaa fight thaat probably will never happen. Tszyu needs to put his energy into blazing his own trail to become a star without Jermell’s help.
Not fair for Charlo to freeze titles
“It’s become ridiculous. It’s not fair. I think with Jermell going up to 168, I don’t think he’s going to come back down and start defending all his mandatories,” said Tszyu.
If the WBO was to do their job, they’d strip Jermell, but it’s not going to happen.
“I think they’re going to make it undisputed vs. undisputed as a marketing type thing, and then he’s going to be stripped. That’s my thoughts.
“Yeah, to become the undisputed champion, it takes years by fighting for each mandatory and then unifying the belts. I understand that. I’m not staying in this division for as long as possible,” said Tszyu.
“So if I can make those big fights happen now, possibly unify be able to fight for two belts or something like that, then that’s what I’m doing, and then I’m going to chase Jermell anyway wherever he goes,” Tszyu said.
“If he has to go up to 160 or if he stays the 168, I’m coming up to that division. I want Jermell. That’s I said it. I just want the name ‘Mel’ on my resume. Even for no belts, I’ll fight him for no belts at all. Belts don’t bother me. It’s just the names on the resume that I want.
“It’s just that he’s been the man of the division. He’s been the man that I’ve wanted to fight for such a long time. So for me to beat each one individually and take those belts would be cool, but he’s the one that did it first, and he’s the one that I want, and I’ll fight him for no belts. It doesn’t bother me.
“If there are big fights to be made at 154. I heard Errol Spence is going to move up eventually and something like that. Thaat would definitely interest me to stay for a bit longer, just super fights.
“I want something that’s going to be massive that brings fireworks. Something to wake up to, something to challenge myself. I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me. I really don’t care less.
“I feel like I’m the man. I believe in myself. I feel like I’m the best. I just got to keep proving it,” said Tszyu.
Jermell will get knocked out
“Yeah, who knows? This boxing takes turns. So what’s going to happen one day? Who knows? Maybe I’ll get the call for Canelo. Maybe I’ll get the call from GGG,” Tszyu said. “Who knows, man? I’m ready for those types of fights as well. These are the names that I want.
“I think Canelo knocks Jermell out, in my opinion. I think Mel is going to be smart, but I think he’s taken too long off. Activity plays a big part. An accumulation,” said Tszyu about his belief that Canelo will knockout Jermell with an accumulation of punches.
Canelo doesn’t throw enough punches to knock out Tszyu. Canelo mostly throws single punches, and when he does throw combinations, h immediately backs off to catch his breath.
“It could be around 10-ish, in my opinion. Hasn’t Jermall retired? It’s been two years. How can you remain champion if you’re not defending it? It doesn’t make any sense,” said Tszyu.
“For the organization, it’s about the undisputed vs. undisputed. That’s how they’re marketing it, and when you have Canelo’s level of pull in the game, then there’s not much to argue about,” said Tszyu about the Canelo vs. Jermell fight.