The team behind WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu 24-0 (17) have admitted the likelihood of luring WBC and WBA counterpart Jermell Charlo 35-2-1 (19) to the ring are slim.
Tszyu’s promoter No Limit Boxing are working to put together a card early next year that will see the 29-year-old Sydneysider make his Las Vegas debut on the first weekend of March to coincide with the National Rugby League doubleheader in Sin City.
Tszyu, who made the first defence of his WBO belt against American Brian Mendoza 22-3 (16) last month, has long coveted a shot at Charlo who was widely outpointed by Mexican superstar and undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 60-2-2 (39) in his last fight in September.
The future plans of the 33-year-old Charlo of Houston, Texas remain up in the air, with Tszyu’s manager Glen Jennings convinced he will give his fighter a wide berth.
“He doesn’t want a bar of Tim,” Jennings told Sporting News. “He got $10 million for that last fight so there’s no urgency for him to fight, but there was never an urgency for him to fight Tim, it was always one excuse after another.”
Former undisputed 154-pound champion Charlo was stripped of the WBO belt for choosing to move up in weight to face Alvarez rather than make his mandatory title defence against Tszyu. This week Charlo chose to ditch the IBF belt rather than face longtime mandatory contender Bakhram Murtazaliev 21-0 (15) of Russia.
“I don’t know what’s going to become of Jermell, I really don’t know what he does now,” Jennings continued. “He’s got two belts left, he’ll get dragged into mandatories on those and neither of those are big-name fights either and he’s talking he only wants mega-fights and I just don’t know where they are for him.
“I don’t think we’re going to see Tim Tszyu versus Jermell Charlo, I just don’t see it happening.”
The challenge currently facing Team Tszyu is securing a broadcaster for his next fight after Showtime announced it would be leaving the boxing business at the end of the year, leaving Tszyu’s American promoter Premier Boxing Champions scrambling to find a media outlet to show their fights.
“We’re working towards March, full steam ahead, all the planning’s happening around it, it’s just a matter for our promoters, Matty and George [Rose] at No Limit, to nail down a date with a broadcast platform and then we’re away,” Jennings said.
“If we get our way, Tim will be busy again in 2024, another three fights but until we get a directive on dates, we just have to sit.
“There’s still plenty of good fights for Tim and Tim’s at that level where we’re going to break into the US and there’s some really good names.
“It would have been nice to have Charlo and we’ve got a nice little hitlist there that we like but they’re all either engaged or not fighting.
“I guess the difference between Tim and them is we fight, they hide and that seems to be the pattern at the moment.”