By Robert Segal: Tim Tszyu says he wants to face the Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo winner if he comes out victorious in his October 15th fight against Brian Mendoza.
Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs) will likely have to go up to 168 either way if he wants to face whoever emerges as the winner of the Canelo-Charlo fight because it would be too much to hope for to have them come down to 154 to face him.
Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) holds all four belts at junior middleweight for now, but he will be stripped of his WBO 154-lb title when he faces Canelo on September 30th. That belt will go to Tszyu, which is great for him, but he’d rather win it inside the ring by taking it off Charlo.
It’s not likely that the Canelo-Jermell winner will be receptive to fighting Tszyu because they’ll undoubtedly meet in a rematch if it’s Jermell who has his hand raised, or if it’s Canelo, he’ll fight the inactive Charlo twin, Jermall.
Tszyu, 28, says he’d also be interested in fighting Terence Crawford, who is moving up to 154. If Errol Spence Jr. doesn’t execute the rematch clause to face Crawford next, that will leave Terence without a dance partner, and he might be interested in facing Tszyu if he can’t get the Canelo vs. Jermell winner.
Tszyu wants Canelo vs. Charlo winner
“Charlo has gone the other way. Hopefully, we can get the winner of Canelo – Charlo because I feel that is a big fight to be made as well,” said Tim Tszyu to Fight Hub TV about a match-up he’s targeting if he comes out victorious in his fight against WBC interim junior middleweight champion Brian Mendoza on October 15th.
What Tszyu has working against him in getting the Canelo-Jermell winner is his thin resume and the fact that he’s not well-known in the U.S.
There are much bigger fights available for Canelo or Jermell in the States right now than Tszyu, such as David Benavidez, Crawford & Dmitry Bivol.
“That’s the path I’m looking at. Of course, I would. He’s a legend,” said Tszyu when asked if he’d like to fight Canelo. “A good little quote was, ‘Let your idols become your rivals.'”
To get a fight against Canelo, Tszyu needs a win over a big name like Crawford, Benavidez, David Morrell Jr., Artur Beterbiev, or Bivol. Beating Brian Mendoza isn’t good enough for Tszyu to get a fight against an established star like Canelo.
“My dad fought Julio Cesar Chavez Sr [in July 2000] back in the day, and he grew up watching him,” said Tszyu about his famous dad, former unified 140-lb champion Kostya.
“Everything is possible, especially when you’re at this level now, when you’re at the very one percent, especially a win over [Brian] Mendoza would be in the line.
“Yeah, I’d welcome that with both hands as well,” said Tszyu when asked if he’d like to fight Terence Crawford. “Any mega-fight. I’m not scared of no one.”
Tszyu may eventually face Crawford, but that fight likely won’t be next after Mendoza. Again, Errol Spence will indeed execute the rematch clause in his contract to face Crawford in December, which leaves Tszyu in a position where he’ll need to face someone else like one of these fighters:
- Sebastian Fundora
- Josh Kelly
- Keith Thurman
- Charles Conwell
- Xander Zayes
- Jesus Ramos
- Erickson Lubin
- Bakhram Murtazaliev
“Crawford is very hard to beat, I’ll be honest with you. When I see Charlo, I see a lot of gaps, a lot of holes, but Crawford, yeah, he’s #1 pound-for-pound for a reason. That doesn’t mean he’s unbeatable. There’s always [ways]. You can always find something,” Tszyu said.
Mendoza next for Tszyu
“In the zone, being surrounded by like-wise individuals, and get on that hard, hard grind,” said Tszyu when asked what he hopes to get out of his training camp in the U.S. for his fight against Mendoza.
“It’s been a long time in the process [putting the fight together with Brian Mendoza], but I’ve been on the grind for quite a bit of time now because I knew it was locked in. It’s good to let the public know finally,” said Tszyu.
Could Tszyu lose to Mendoza? With the power that Mendoza possesses and the way he’s looked in his last two fights, you can’t count him out against Tszyu. He could beat him, and you wouldn’t call it an upset.
“As a fighter, you have to be confident. You don’t want to go into a fight thinking you’re going to lose. It would be stupid of you,” said Tszyu, reacting to being told that Mendoza appeared confident in their kick-off press conference.
“It’s good that we’re both confident and coming off big, big wins, and it will be a cracking fight. He’s got that underdog mentality, which is good,” said Tszyu.
It remains to be seen if Mendoza will be considered the underdog for his fight with Tszyu. That’s a very competitive fight on paper.
“He comes in with nothing to lose and proves everyone wrong, and he’s fought the very best,” said Tszyu. “Yeah, he’s done very, very well for himself. It’s a great stepping stone for my career as well.
“Whatever I feel like on the night,” said Tszyu when asked what kind of fight it will be against Mendoza. “I could play one thing and go the other way. We’ll see what happens on the night.
“My style is evolving, and it’s changing through experience and how I stay in the ring nonstop and in the gym. Right now, I’m a different fighter from what I was before. I feel comfortable, I feel confident, and I feel most at peace,” said Tszyu.