Super welterweight prospect Tim Tszyu is one of boxing’s most promising upstarts.
The son of the legendary Hall of Fame fighter Kostya Tszyu has looked impressive against knockout wins over Jeff Horn and Dennis Hogan of late. He next steps into the ring against Michael Zerafa on July 7.
If you ask the 154-pound WBC, WBA and IBF champion Jermell Charlo, the 26-year-old Tszyu (18-0, 14 KOs) is not even within sniffing distance of fighting him, even after the fighter’s promoter George Rose of No Limit Boxing said he’d be willing to spend $10 million for a potential Charlo bout.
On a video filmed on May 19 during his birthday, the 31-year-old Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) was as feisty as ever while discussing a potential fight in Australia against Tszyu.
“Nobody ever sent me no $10 million contract or none of that. First off, Tim [sic] Kostya Tszyu is not even on a level to even fight for a world title. He's not even on the level to fight some of the guys I've knocked the f--- out of. He ain't even going to have a chance to fight me probably throughout my career. I'm just being honest,” Charlo said on his YouTube channel "Ringside With The Lions" while resting in a Normatec.
“$10 million sounds great. Yes I would love to take that. But Tim. Sorry big homie. You aint getting a chance to fight Charlo because Charlo got some other plans. I'm the unified champ. I'm fend to be the undisputed champion. I'm going to bust my a-- to get to where I need to get to so I can get all of the belts so everybody can say, 'champ, you are the king’ … I’ve been training my ass off. I'm thankful to always fight and always bless my family with the gift that I have with these hands.”
Charlo is looking to claim undisputed status at 154 when he fights WBO champion Brian Castano ten days after Tszyu on July 17 on Showtime.
Tszyu, meanwhile, is looking to catapult himself as more than the son of a retired champion.
“I’m not satisfied,” said Tszyu after beating Hogan in March. “I want to be a global boxing star. That’s my goal. It’s always been my goal and I need those big guys. We’re at that stage where I do believe I can compete with the big boys.
“Charlo got rid of Hogan in seven [rounds]. I do it in five [rounds]. So my pace was a bit quicker than Charlo’s. I want an international fight. I want to be recognised globally.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com