Tim Tszyu says he could go for a quick knockout right away against Brian Mendoza this Saturday night in their main event fight in Queensland, Australia.
Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs) states that whatever mood he is in will determine whether he blitzes Mendoza (22-3, 16 KOs) or takes his time and boxes him.
Mendoza will be challenging Tszyu for his WBO junior middleweight title in a card that will be shown live on Showtime at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT in the U.S.
Tszyu had been waiting around for over a year for a title shot against undisputed 154-lb champion Jermell Charlo, who bailed out after being offered a chance to fight Canelo Alvarez at 168 for a lot of money. You can’t fault Jermell for taking that fight because he’s rumored to have made four times his biggest career purse.
Tszyu was elevated to the WBO 154-lb champion, and now he’s decided to defend against what he feels is the #2 guy in the division, Mendoza.
“If the opportunity arises to fight someone, I’m there. It doesn’t matter. I’m walking around it that weight anyway, usually,” said Tim Tszyu to Premier Boxing Champions when asked if he would be interested in moving up to 168 for a big fight.
If Canelo were to offer Tszyu a title shot at 168, he’d grab it with both hands, but that probably won’t happen. Canelo has got to resume fighting guys in his own weight class and can’t continue to select fighters from the 154-lb division.
“Look, Crawford has still got his Errol Spence fight rematch,” said Tszyu. “I think there was a rematch clause, so I think he’s activated it. If he does decide to move to 154 or even Errol Spence, if any of them decide to move to 154, then look, I’d welcome that with both hands.”
Tszyu says he’ll be moving up to 160 after 2024, so if Terence Crawford is going to fight him, he’s going to need to do it by next year unless he wants to move up to middleweight to face him.
“I respect both of the fighters and be one cracker of a fight, that’s for sure. I’d be interesting,” said Tszyu when asked what a fight between him and Crawford would be like. I’m not just a brawler who moves forward.
“I’m quite smart, and I know he’s a great counter-puncher, and his IQ level is on that next level, so it’d be an interesting fight. It definitely be a tough, tough, challenging toughest fight for sure, but yeah, it’s definitely something that I’d wake up to.”
Hopefully, Mendoza lasts longer than Tszyu’s last opponent Carlos Ocampo, because he was blasted out in one round last June. If Tszyu knocks out Mendoza right away on Saturday, he’s going to need to start facing guys like Crawford & Errol Spence Jr. because they’ll give him more to think about.
“I’m not too sure. I just take it day by day, but I’ve got I’ve got big, big-term goals, of course,” said Tszyu. “I just want to fight. I just want to be in the biggest fights possible to represent myself and the people around me.
“So, the biggest fight possible in different weight divisions. Just legacy-type things that can cement me in the history books. Yeah, I’m 28 years young and still have another ten years in the sport. So there are so many more fights to be made; it’s crazy, it’s fun.
“Probably 2024 will be my last full year at 154. Look, I think it’s going to be a cracker of a fight. It depends on what I feel on the day, I guess.
Maybe if I feel like going straight for the kill, then it might happen straight for the kill,” said Tszyu when asked for his prediction on the Mendoza fight.
“If decide to play it smart, just be cautious. It depends on what I wake up to,” said Tszyu.