16.06.04 – Tszyu: On Wednesday 16th June 2004, I was informed by the World Boxing Association (WBA) that they have stripped me of my WBA world title. I am very disappointed with this, having been a very proud WBA champion over the last three years.
I know that most boxing fans will agree that the only place for world titles to change hands is in the ring, not outside of it. This current situation has happened because of a political campaign from another boxer’s promoter to give their fighter a clearer path. I am quite happy to fight the WBA mandatory, but have other commitments to meet first.
It should be noted that if I did not sustain two serious injuries (Achilles tendon and shoulder tendon) in separate training mishaps over the last twelve months, I would have already fulfilled my WBA mandatory defence. Unfortunately, the WBA’s rules are not clear what should happen when an Undisputed or Super champion is injured. This is a test case for the WBA.
We made it very clear to the WBA that I was prepared to fight Vivian Harris, and in fact we undertook negotiations with his promoter, Main Events. However, I had already committed to a defence of my IBF title against Sharmba Mitchell in November. The WBA have not been able to accept this fact. As hard as it is to gain all three belts, it is also very hard to keep them. It’s a shame the WBA hasn’t given me the opportunity to defend my title in the ring, which is my right.
I have the right to appeal the WBA’s decision, which we may exercise. We are in discussions with the WBA now to determine what that process involves.
I have been undefeated for the past seven years and I know who I am, regardless of the WBA’s decision. Until someone defeats me inside the ring, I will have the right to call myself and will continue to be the Undisputed Super Lightweight Champion of the World.
Remember the Tszyu Crew rules always!
Undisputed Super Lightweight Champion of the World