WBO interim junior middleweight contender Tim Tszyu (22-0, 16 KOs) hopes to challenge undisputed 154-lb champion Jermell Charlo in October, provided his slowly healing left hand is 100% by then without any setbacks that further delay the fight.
WBO mandatory challenger Tszyu was initially supposed to face Jermell in January for his four belts, but he suffered a broken left hand, which led to the contest being postponed.
The World Boxing Organization hasn’t said their ultimate time limit for Charlo to return from his hand problem. If he’s still licking his wounds by the end of the year without defending his WBO belt, the organization will need to decide whether to strip him so that title can stay in play.
It’s unclear if the WBO has a ‘Champion in Recess’ tag they can give their belt holders when they suffer injuries that linger for over twelve months. That would be the ideal thing they can do in Charlo’s case if his hand problem needs additional time.
The same goes for Charlo’s IBF, WBA & WBC titles. If he’s just sitting on his belts without defending them because of his lingering hand issue, stripping him would be the logical thing to do.
They don’t need Charlo to sit on his belts without defending them for two+ solid years like we’re seeing with his twin brother Jermall, who holds the WBC middleweight title and hasn’t made a defense since May 2021. Yet, the World Boxing Council still hasn’t stripped him or given him their ‘Champion in Recess tag’ that they’re prone to do when their belt holders are injured for an extended time.
In the meantime, Tszyu plans on taking a warm-up fight in the summer against a still-to-be-determined opponent. The 28-year-old Tszyu had hoped to face fellow Aussie Michael Zerafa, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Tszyu’s manager Glen Jennings is still looking to find a suitable opponent.
Last March, Tszyu defeated former WBC 154-lb champion Tony Harrison by a ninth-round knockout in an impressive performance in Sydney, Australia, beating the Detroit, Michigan native in a better fashion than Jermell Charlo had done four years earlier.
“If we do fight in October [against Jermell Charlo] it would have been 12 months since we started preparing for that fight. We were due to fight him in January,” said Glen Jennings to ProBox TV News about Tszyu.
“We understand that injuries happen, but that happened in December. We are now in May, that’s six months. I’m not too sure if many hands are not mended in that time in the history of boxing.
“We will have Tim’s opponent and venue named in a week to ten days. We are keeping busy while we wait for Charlo,” said Jennings.