The World Boxing Organization has ordered undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo to begin negotiations to defend against his WBO mandatory challenger Tim Tszyu.
Charlo and Tszyu have 20 days to negotiate their fight before a purse bid on June 20th.
With Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) expected to move up to 160 after doing what he had to do to become undisputed at 154 with his win over WBO champion Brian Castano on May 14th, he’s likely to bin all of his straps at junior middleweight.
If Jermell does choose to defend against #1 WBO Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs), it should be an easier fight than his last two against Castano. Tszyu has power, but he lacks defense and has no real experience against A-level fighters during his six-year professional career.
If Charlo vacates the WBO 154-lb strap, Tszyu will fight the next available contender in the World Boxing Organization’s boxing rankings, which would be #2 Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith. That would be a hard fight for Tszyu, but he’d at least have a chance of winning.
Like Charlo, Liam has tons of experience and would have a massive advantage over the greenhorn Tszyu, but the power & youth of the Australian might balance things out and make up for what he lacks.
Tszyu looked dreadful in his last fight against 34-year-old Terrell Gausha on March 26th, getting dropped by the American, and struggling all the way through. If not for Gausha (22-3-1, 11 KOs) gassing out in the championship rounds, Tszyu would have lost.
If Charlo were willing to stay at 154, it would be better for Tszyu to get three or four more fights under his belt before challenging him for his WBO belt.
Good fights for Tszyu to get experience:
- Tony Harrison
- Sebastian Fundora
- Erickson Lubin
- Israil Madrimov
- Charles Conwell
- Carlos Adames
- Brian Castano
You can argue that half of those fighters would likely beat Tszyu at this point in his career. The way Tszyu barely beat Gausha showed that he’s not solid enough to hang with the best right now at 154.
Moving up in weight to 160 will put Jermell in a position to get a big money fight against Canelo Alvarez eventually. That’s where the money is at for Jermell.
Staying at 154 will limit the kind of money Jermell can make in his career, and he’d eventually get beaten as he ages.
Moving up now, Jermell can take advantage of his recent achievement in becoming undisputed. He could quickly move into a fight with Canelo by jumping up another weight class to 168.