Former two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi is backing Tim Tszyu to knock Jermell Charlo out in a junior middleweight unification clash.
Tszyu is back in the ring on October 14, when he defends the WBO world title against Brian Mendoza.
Charlo, who holds the IBF, WBA, WBC titles, returned to action last weekend when he moved up in weight by two full divisions and lost a twelve round decision to undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
When Charlo stepped in the ring to fight Canelo, he was removed of the WBO title. By way of a prior order, the sanctioning body elevated Tszyu to full champion status. Tszyu was the longtime mandatory challenger and holder of the WBO’s interim-title.
The two rivals are expected by some observers to collide in 2024.
And while Charlo will likely pursue a lucrative showdown against Terence Crawford, Malignaggi would like to see him earn that fight by facing Tszyu.
And if that fight were to happen, at this point in time Malignaggi would back Tszyu to come away with a knockout victory.
“Instead of getting Crawford, he [Charlo] should now have to fight Tim Tszyu after that performance,” Malignaggi said, according to Fox Sports.
“And if he beats Tim Tszyu, then maybe he can get Crawford. But I don’t think Jermell Charlo is hungry. And getting this 20 million racks is going to make him less hungry. I think if he fights Tim Tszyu, Tim Tszyu knocks him out.
“Jermell at his best was world class, but this is not a hungry fighter. This is not a guy who wants to fight, this is a guy who wants to steal the bank and who is looking for a free cheque.”