With Jermell Charlo on the mend due to a broken hand, Tim Tszyu put his guaranteed title shot on the line to face Tony Harrison last month. He emerged victorious that time around, but now he’s preparing to gamble once again, as he tells Fox Sports AU that Charlo’s recovery is taking longer than expected.
As a result, Tszyu (22-0, 16 KO) has asked his manager and promoter to set up another fight by “early June” before fighting Charlo in either late August or early September. No word on whom he’ll face, though he says he wants someone “that is going to give [him] a challenge.”
Going down the WBO rankings doesn’t produce an immediately obvious dance partner. Bakhram Murtazaliev is at the top, but he’s been owed a shot at Charlo for years. Behind him sits Danny Garcia, who’s been talking up a potential middleweight title shot against Erislandy Lara.
Then come Josh Kelly, Charles Conwell, Xander Zayas, and David Papot.
Frankly, it’s past time to strip Charlo. While the hand injury was beyond his control, skipping all of 2022 after beating Brian Castano in May was his own decision. The man has fought three times in the last three years, which is inexcusable for an undisputed champion. Let him keep the WBO belt so he and Tszyu can fight over it, then let Murtazaliev, Sebastian Fundora, and Israil Madrimov challenge fresh contenders for the three vacant titles.
Strip Jermall too, while you’re at it. No fights since 2021 and and, what, one mandatory defense in the last four years?