Tim Tszyu needs to win his fight this Saturday night against Terrell Gausha to battle for the WBO junior middleweight title against the winner of the Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano II rematch on May 14th.
#1 WBO Tszyu (20-0, 15 KOs) and Gausha (22-2-1, 11 KOs) are headlining in a 12 round scheduled fight this Saturday, March 26th on Showtime Boxing at The Armory in Minneapolis.
This should be a good scrap for the 27-year-old Tszyu, giving him the chance to display his talent in his American debut.
Up until now, Tszyu has been fighting his entire six-year professional career in Australia against mostly local fighters. Taking on the 2012 U.S Olympian Gausha will allow Tszyu to test his skills against an experienced American with many talents.
If Tszyu can get through the fight against Gausha without problems, he’ll be waiting on the outcome of the Charlo vs. Castano fight. Last July, those two fought to a 12 round draw in San Antonio, Texas.
It’s unclear if Charlo will choose to fight Tszyu if he gets past Castano, though, as he’s not shown interest in wanting to fight him in the past.
If the 31-year-old Jermell decides not to fight Tszyu, he can always vacate his WBO 154-lb title to avoid the fight. He’d still have three belts in his possession.
Obviously, it would look bad on Charlo’s part if he elects not to defend against Tszyu, but that’s his prerogative.
Tszyu (20-0, 15 KOs) had already volunteered to step in to face Jermell after Castano suffered a biceps injury, but his offer wasn’t accepted. It’s not surprising that Charlo opted not to take the risky fight against Tszyu because he’s got a good thing going right now, making good money on Showtime.
“I think the WBO has mandated it,” Tszyu said to DAZN. “I’m fighting for the WBO title next. So whatever happens, happens. If the boys want to punch on, then you know I’m always keen to punch on.”
It will be interesting to see if Tszyu is up to the task of beating Gausha and then the Charlo vs. Castano 2 winner. Thus far, these are the best fighters Tszyu has fought during his short pro career:
- Jeff Horn
- Dennis Hogan
- Takeshi Inoue
- Denton Vassell
Given Tszyu’s lack of experience against world-class opposition, one can only guess how well he’ll do against the 34-year-old Gausha on Saturday night.
This is a tremendous step up in class for Tszyu from the guys he’s been batting around the ring on a routine basis in Australia, and that’s why it’s impossible to know how he’ll perform.
“Look, if Charlo wanted the show to go on, I was always ready to step in. That’s not a problem,” Tszyu told DAZN. “Give me two days. I would have been ready anyway. It is what it is.
“I’ve got nothing to offer,” Tszyu said. “It’s a real risky fight for him. The Castano fight is for all the belts. They are fighting for all the glory, and that’s everybody’s dream is to fight for that.”
You can’t entirely blame Charlo for choosing not to fight Tszyu because that would have been a huge adjustment to go from preparing to face the volume puncher Castano to taking on a guy with massive power.
Jermell has done well in recent years against fighters with excellent power, but he might have been a different story taking on Tszyu. He has a good chin, and he would stick around long enough to unload a lot of his heavy artillery on Charlo’s chin.
Hopefully, Tszyu and Charlo can meet up later this year because that would be a massive fight for the division. Fingers crossed that both fighters win their next contests so the boxing world can see them battle it out later this year.