Tim Tszyu vs. Fundora Winner Must Fight Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams - 03/19/2024 - Comments

WBO president Paco Valcarcel has determined that the winner of the March 30th clash between Tim Tszyu and Sebastian Fundora must begin negotiations to defend against mandatory Terence Crawford.

Crawford’s Strategic Move

According to ESPN, Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) used his status as the WBO welterweight champion to position himself as the mandatory for World Boxing Organization junior middleweight champion Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs).

As a result, Crawford will force the Tszyu-Fundora winner to defend against him next. Theoretically, two titles—the WBC and WBO 154-lb straps — will be on the line when that happens.

Tszyu Welcomes the Challenge

Tszyu has already said he’d welcome a fight with Crawford, believing it’ll be a huge one, and he can’t wait to make that happen if he’s victorious against Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs) in their headliner on March 30th on Prime PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“WBO president Paco Valcarcel said the winner of Tim Tszyu-Sebastian Fundora must start negotiations with the mandatory challenger five days after the fight. That’s pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford, who was able to position himself into that spot as WBO super champ at 147. If Tszyu wins as expected, a big-time fight with Crawford could be on deck this summer,” said Mike Coppinger on X.

Fans on social media aren’t too happy about Crawford’s decision to go in the path of the Tszyu vs. Fundora winner at 154 rather than staying at 147 to defend his belts against the young lions coming for his scalp.

If the 36-year-old Crawford defeats Tszyu, he’ll be the unified WBC/WBO junior middleweight champion and will likely pursue the other two belts to become an undisputed champion in three weight classes.

Crawford had been talking about wanting to move up to 168, but it looks like he’s come to his senses. He likely realizes that it would involve huge risk for him because he would have to beat the killers guarding King Canelo Alvarez. It’s a much easier task for Crawford to focus on the 154-lb division against Tszyu.