Tszyu: I’m At The Super-Fight Level; I Don’t Talk Sh!t Out Of My Ass; I’m Actually Up There

Whether he fights Jermell Charlo next or another opponent, Tim Tszyu feels like his recent run in his home country has elevated him to a different level.

The unbeaten WBO junior middleweight champion claimed after his points victory over Brian Mendoza in Broadbeach, Australia that he is ready to headline shows at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Tszyu expects a lot of Australian fans to make the long transpacific trip to watch him perform in “The Fight Capital of the World,” where he would like to fight in March.

Sydney’s Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs), the son of former junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu, mentioned Charlo, Errol Spence Jr. and even Canelo Alvarez as opponents he would be willing to fight in 2024.

“Yeah, that’s the level I’m at,” Tszyu said during his post-fight press conference. “It’s the super-fight level. And I don’t talk sh!t out of my ass, you know? I’m actually up there. I learned from a young age, my parents taught me if you say you’re someone or something, or you’re gonna say something, you’re gonna do it. You know, and I believe that I am at that [level].

“Not that one percent anymore, at that zero-point-zero-one percent, where it is the super-fight type level, the big T-Mobile Arena-type level fights. And that’s where we’re heading. And, you know, to finish off here with a bang, I was saying the last hurrah, yeah, it’s good.”

Finally fighting Charlo is the most obvious option for Tszyu, who was awarded the WBO 154-pound championship September 30, the night Charlo was stripped of that title because he challenged Alvarez in a 12-round, 168-pound title fight at T-Mobile Arena. Houston’s Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KOs), who still holds the IBF, WBA and WBC 154-pound crowns, stated after losing a one-sided decision to Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) that he will move back down to the junior middleweight division for his next fight.

Facing Tszyu, who was supposed to challenge Charlo on January 28 in Las Vegas, would afford Charlo an opportunity to fully unify the 154-pound titles for the second time. The 28-year-old Tszyu won’t waste more time waiting for Charlo, however, and suggested that he thinks Charlo could take “a one-year honeymoon” to “waste all that cash” he made for facing Alvarez last month.

That’s fine by Tszyu, who will explore other options if Charlo doesn’t want to fight him next.

“But having this [the WBO belt] gives you a bit of bargaining power,” Tszyu said. “You know? So, when you have this [the WBO belt] they can come get it. You know, otherwise if I didn’t have this, it’s risk. That’s the position I was at before the Harrison fight, you know?”

Tszyu dropped and stopped Tony Harrison (29-4-1, 21 KOs), a former WBC super welterweight champ, in the ninth round of their March 12 bout at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. Tszyu won the WBO interim junior middleweight title when he defeated Detroit’s Harrison, who at that time was the only opponent to have beaten Charlo.

An active Tszyu has since knocked out Mexican veteran Carlos Ocampo (35-3, 23 KOs) in the first round June 18 at Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre and beat Albuquerque’s Mendoza (22-3, 16 KOs) by unanimous decision at that same venue Sunday afternoon.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.


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