Early yesterday, Jermell Charlo announced on Instagram that his first defense as undisputed super welterweight champion would be against WBO mandatory challenger Tim Tszyu on Jan. 28, 2023.
Check out the crap layering on that poster. Can’t wait to see Jermell Harlo back in action.
This fight is, as both the post and poster remind us, “for all the belts.” That may or may not be the case; Bakhram Murtazaliev is coming up on three years as IBF mandatory and he wants his shot. Say what you will about the organization’s rankings, but just ask Canelo what happens when you don’t fulfill your duties in a timely manner.
Regardless of the hardware at stake, all signs point to chaos if these two share the ring. Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KO) has been pure dynamite since suddenly discovering his power in a 2015 wipeout of Joachim Alcine, while Tszyu (21-0, 15 KO) is the sort of physically overwhelming pressure fighter that could provide the same sort of clash of styles that made Charlo’s fights with Brian Castano instant classics.
Can’t say it’s not disappointing that we’ll have to wait half a year for it, though. Tszyu underwent hand surgery back in May, but this is far longer than the reported timetable for recovery; Damon says Charlo wanted October, but got shot down by PBC and the venue. Charlo fought just once each in 2019 and 2020 and hasn’t fought more than twice in a calendar year since 2014; that’s just not sustainable with additional mandatories like Murtazaliev and Sebastian Fundora breathing down his neck.