Undisputed Super Welterweight World Champion Jermell Charlo suffered a broken left hand in training and his much-anticipated, high-stakes defense against No. 1 contender Tim Tszyu, which was scheduled for January 28, has been postponed.
Charlo broke his left hand in two places – between the pinkie and ring finger and at the base of the thumb – after landing a punch in sparring at his gym in Houston on Tuesday. After visiting two doctors and a hand specialist in Houston, his hand has been placed in a cast. It will remain in a cast for two months and after it is removed, he will begin rehabilitation before resuming his training.
“I was sparring, and I threw this nice punch and as soon as it landed, I knew something was wrong. I felt my hand throbbing right away,’’ said Charlo. “I had two X-rays and an MRI to see what was wrong. It showed it was broken in two places. I hate this feeling. My hand will be in a cast for two months. I’m as disappointed as the fans, maybe more, because this was my first chance to defend the undisputed title.
“The way I am, I would have beaten Tim Tszyu with one hand, but the doctors and the boxing commission won’t allow that. It’s even more dangerous when a lion faces adversity and has to come back to defend the pride. I’ve been training since July, and I’ve been hitting harder than ever, and these are the things that happen when you push yourself to the limits. After my hand heals, I’m coming back stronger than ever to defend my legacy.’’
“This is not the news that anyone wants to hear because we’ve been anticipating this fight. But these things happen,’’ said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Jermell didn’t take the easy route to become the undisputed super welterweight champion, so he knows that nothing comes easy. Tszyu better be ready, because Jermell will be stronger and hungrier than ever when he comes back.’’
“Charlo vs. Tszyu for the undisputed super welterweight title is one of the biggest and most anticipated fights on the 2023 boxing schedule, so we, like boxing fans around the world, are obviously disappointed to hear of Jermell’s injury and the resulting postponement,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “We wish Jermell a speedy recovery, and we look forward to adding this important fight back to the SHOWTIME schedule as soon as reasonably possible. We know both Jermell and Tim are anxious to give boxing fans the all-action fight that we have all been anticipating.’’
“I’m very disappointed,” said Tszyu. “I felt like the stars aligned for undisputed…but we move on. I’m ready to take on the next mandatory challenger. I’ll be back for Charlo once he is ready and healed.”
Charlo vs. Tszyu remains one of the best matches of 2023, as it pairs two hard-hitting boxer-punchers in a high-stakes bout with Tszyu attempting to dethrone the best 154-pounder in the sport. Charlo earned his position as undisputed champion by stopping Brian Castaño in May and unifying all four titles. He will look to add another big name to his pound-for-pound resume against the Australian star Tszyu, who hopes to join his father Kostya Tszyu as an undisputed world champion.
There is currently no new date for the rescheduled match. A new date will be announced soon.