By Adam Baskin: WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu says he wants to collect the remaining three belts at 154 against Jermell Charlo after he defends against Brian Mendoza this Saturday night.
Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs) wants to be the undisputed champion at 154, and if he can’t get the fight he needs to make that happen against IBF, WBA & WBC champ Jermell, he’ll move up to 160 or 168 to target the top guys in those weight classes.
Tim has got to focus on the task at hand, defending against the tough-as-nails Mendoza (22-2, 16 KOs) this Saturday, October 14th, at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia. Tszyu’s fight with Mendoza will be shown live on Showtime Boxing.
Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed champion at super middleweight, is on Tszyu’s target list because that’s a fight that would cement his legacy. To make that happen, Tszyu will likely need to move up to 160 for a fight or two before jumping up to 168.
After the backlash against Canelo for fighting 154-pounder Jermell last month, it’s reasonable to assume that he won’t be open to the idea of giving Tszyu a straight title shot without him campaigning at 160 at the least.
Other names Tszyu wants:
- Terence Crawford
- Errol Spence Jr
Canelo won’t get dumped on as badly if he defends against a 160-pounder, but ideally, Tszyu should move up to 168 to start campaigning in that weight class if he wants to improve his chances of getting the payday before the Mexican star retires.
For anyone who wants the chance to fight Canelo, you move up to 168 as quickly as possible because he’s not going to be around for much longer.
Alvarez already has a net worth estimated at $200 million, and he could hang up the gloves if he loses interest in the sport. That’s a lot of money for someone to have a passion for golf like Canelo, which is why Tszyu needs to go after him like a rocket right away.
“I think he’s talented, he’s good at what he does and has been proving everyone wrong, and he’s on a roll,” said Tim Tszyu to Premier Boxing Champions, talking about his opponent, Brian Mendoza ahead of their fight this Saturday night.
“A little bit. [Sebastian] Fundora is always a tough challenge. Fundora was landing a lot of shots at the same time, but he just got him in the right spot,” said Tszyu when asked about his thoughts on Mendoza’s recent seventh-round knockout win over Sebastian ‘The Towering Inferno’ Fundora last April.
“Fundora was the one that made the mistake. It was it was simple. You make the mistake, you pay, and Fundora went with a wild left uppercut and took his right hand off the chin, and then it was a simple textbook left hook. It was one second out of concentration, and that’s all it took.
“We’ll see. Whatever I feel like on the day,” said Tszyu when asked how he plans on beating Mendoza.
“It doesn’t mean much, in all honesty,” said Tim on what it means to him to have been elevated to WBO 154-lb champion. “I still want the big names and the big titles. I’m not content until I have all four belts and the names Charlo and Mendoza on the resume.
“So one belt just because the Charlo fight [didn’t happen], it’s not rewarding for myself. I feel like at this level now every fight should feel like a world title. We’re at that one percenter now fighting the very top of the division.
“So that mindset of the world title on the line every time is what I keep striving for. That’s up to him. That’s the question that everyone needs to ask him. What’s he doing? Who knows? He might go on a two-year vacation after this,” said Tszyu when asked if he’d like to fight Jermell.
“I don’t know I don’t know it’s all up to him, but if the opportunity arises and he’s willing to get in, then I’m there. I feel like I have options. There are plenty of different names in the division. I can even move up to 160, 168, it really doesn’t bother me,” said Tszyu.