War Of Words For Jermell Charlo-Tim Tszyu Begins
Tuesday afternoon saw the media hype begin for the highly anticipated, undisputed junior middleweight title defense by Jermell Charlo against WBO 154 lb. top contender Tim Tszyu of Australia.
The two were part of a virtual media session put together by Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime Boxing, who will televise the scheduled 12 rounder from Las Vegas on January 28th. And, the rhetoric is already ramping up for this showdown,
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) December 13, 2022
Here’s more from the official press release:
“Undisputed Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo and unbeaten No.1 contender Tim Tszyu previewed their highly-anticipated showdown during a virtual press conference that got testy on Tuesday before they rumble for real live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, January 28 from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas headlining a Premier Boxing Champions Event.
One of the most anticipated matches of 2023, Charlo vs. Tszyu sets up to be the latest of many memorable clashes in the recent history of the stacked 154-pound division. Charlo earned his position as undisputed champion by stopping Brian Castaño in May and unifying all four titles. He will look to add another big name to his pound-for-pound resume against the Australian star Tszyu, who hopes to join his father Kostya Tszyu as an undisputed world champion. In a fortuitous stroke of chance, Kostya fought for his first world title in Las Vegas on the same date 27 years ago that Tim will now face Charlo in his first championship bid.
Here is what the virtual press conference participants had to say Tuesday:
“I’m excited to be in the ring. This is how I feed my family and I’ve done significant things in this sport. I get to choose who I want, but I want to challenge myself. With every fight I step up to the plate to challenge myself, not my opponents. Y’all know what I do and y’all know what I go into the ring to do. It’s a ‘don’t blink situation.’ That’s just who I am.
“I knew that once I got to this point in my life, that I’d face nothing but top tier guys. That’s all I want. I don’t underestimate anyone, but Tim Tszyu is not the same caliber as I am. His father has done things in boxing, but my pedigree is strong. My pedigree is proven and has been destined for many years.
“Tszyu is young and hungry but I’m young and hungry as well. I’m in the prime of my life and I’m going to challenge myself on January 28.
“People come out to see me because I’m entertaining I am who I am. I worked my ass off my whole life. I didn’t just start this. I’m more dedicated now than I’ve ever been. I like when my opponents talk, because I’ve been able to shut up a lot of people.
“Nobody is ready for me in my division. Everybody is training and says they’re ready. We’re just going to go in there and entertain the people.”
“There’s going to be a new king of the division on January 28. I can promise non-stop action. Keep those belts shiny because I’m coming to grab them.
“This fight has been a long time in the making for me. I’ve been chasing this, so I’m glad that it’s finally come. I’m excited to get this opportunity. Christmas and all of that doesn’t matter right now. There’s only one task in mind. I came to America for a purpose. Not to just come here for the fight. My plan is for victory. I came here to adapt a bit earlier and I’ll be 100 percent ready on January 28.
“When I first was told about the date, I didn’t realize that was the same date my father fought for his first world title. I don’t usually believe in fate. I think destiny and fate is something that you have to work for. For me, I feel like it doesn’t matter about the bloodline. It’s about what you, yourself put into it. I’ve been eyeing this fight for two years now. It’s been in the back of my mind and I’ve been studying and obsessing over it. I’ve been pushing for this hard. This is the test that I need in my career. This is it for me, kill or be killed.
“In Australia, it was sort of like I was a big fish in a small pond. Now, it’s completely different here in the U.S. It’s sink or swim now. You’re in the big ocean and this is where it all matters.
Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) propelled himself to undisputed champion by fighting and beating the best in the division including Brian Castaño, Jeison Rosario, Tony Harrison, Austin Trout and Erickson Lubin. The 32-year-old from Houston won his first title with a stunning knockout of John Jackson for the vacant WBC championship in 2016 and successfully defended the title three times, before losing to Harrison, but regaining the title in rematch with him.
Charlo then gained the WBA/IBF champion Jeison Rosario in an electrifying unification bout and made a statement with an eighth-round knockout in 2020 With the undisputed championship on the line, Charlo faced Castaño and fought to an exciting draw before once again prevailing in a rematch with a 10th-round stoppage.
The 28-year-old Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) has quickly climbed the rankings in the 154-pound division with an all-action, aggressive style. The notable names on his resume include former welterweight champion Jeff Horn, whom Tszyu stopped in round eight, and Terrell Gausha, a top contender and member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. A native of Sydney, Australia, Tszyu made his U.S. and SHOWTIME debut against Gausha and showed his poise and toughness by rallying back from a first-round knockdown to defeat Gausha via unanimous decision.
Tszyu is immensely popular in Australia having headlined to sold out arenas and stadiums all over the Eastern coast of the continent over the last four years. The PPV audience should be strong on what will be a Sunday afternoon there for his biggest fight to date.