As fans know, Tim Tszyu will today face Brian Mendoza in defense of his WBO 154-pound title. Fans are expecting a good fight, maybe even a great fight in Australia. However, the one man the undefeated Tszyu wants to fight, indeed should have fought some months ago, is Jermell Charlo.
Stripped of the WBO belt upon entering the ring to fight Canelo Alvarez (Charlo going down via wide decision, his perceived non-effort heavily criticized), Charlo still holds the WBA/IBF and WBC belts at the weight – this despite the fact that the 33-year-old has not fought at 154 pounds since May of 2022.
One of the growing number of people who feel very strongly Charlo should be stripped of all his belts due to inactivity and lack of defenses (the one against Tszyu mostly, the fight one fan were really looking forward to, only for it not to happen) is Shawn Porter. Porter, who has flown out to Australia to be part of the broadcast team covering the Tszyu-Mendoza fight, spoke with the media in Australia, and the former welterweight champ said two things: Charlo will never fight Tszyu, and Charlo should be stripped of the three belts he still currently holds.
“I thought he was stripped (of all his belts),” Porter said first. “That’s how I feel about it. I feel if you move, especially two weight classes out of your limit if you haven’t fought for over a year at that weight, why does he have belts? I didn’t know he had belts. I don’t want to talk about belts because, as you can see, it’s bull***t.
“I told the No Limit guys (who promote Tszyu) a fight ago that they wouldn’t be seeing Jermell Charlo in the ring. They’ll never see Jermell Charlo in the ring. As bad as Jermell performed in his last fight, it doesn’t look like he has any intentions of fighting again. It’s really tough to say what Jermell is gonna do moving forward, but 154 ain’t gonna be it, I will say that.”
What’s worse, Charlo ducking Tszyu, or the three governing bodies – WBA, IBF, WBC – allowing Charlo to keep hold of the belts for getting on for a year-and-a-half without fighting at 154 pounds? Tszyu was fully confident he would have beaten Charlo when they were supposed to fight, but it looks like we will never get that fight now.
As for tonight’s fight, Tszyu, again showing his willingness to fight anyone, is up against a tough and dangerous guy in Mendoza. If he comes through, Tszyu will not be a guy who can be avoided by the top names any longer. And surely, if Charlo doesn’t agree to fight Tszyu or Mendoza should he win tonight, he should absolutely be stripped of the three belts he has somehow managed to keep in his possession.