Tim Tszyu was supposed to face undisputed super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo on Jan. 28 but Charlo was forced to pull out of the fight due to a broken left hand in late December.
With the tantalizing shot for Tszyu on hold, the 28-year-old second-generation star instead chose to stay busy with ex-Charlo foe and former world champion Tony Harrison, and the pair are set to square off at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park, Australia on March 12.
The event will air March 11 in the United States on Showtime, and both fighters will be battling for the 154-pound WBO interim title.
Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) does not seem bothered by the tough test Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs) should present.
“If it goes past four he’s going to be in trouble,” Tszyu said, per FOX Sports Australia. “My aim is to grab him by the neck and pull him down into the ocean and just let him sink – drown him.
“It will start from round one and we’ll see when he gets some air. He’s going to want to tap. He’s going to wish it was UFC. He’s tall but my sparring partners are much taller. He looks fragile. You can just see it. I’ve been sparring big, strong unbreakable blokes and he looks like I could crack him in half.”
Harrison's big breakout arrived in Dec. 2018 when he scored a unanimous decision win against Jermell Charlo to win the 154-pound WBC championship.
The 32-year-old, however, dropped the title to Charlo in a rematch in his next fight during a competitive 11th-round knockout.
During the mix of war of words, Tszyu acknowledged that Harrison would be the hardest fight of his seven-year career and that the Detroit native is “100 percent” a better fighter than Charlo.
“I think he’s got superior skills. He’s got a good jab, and good movement, and is hard to hit, slick, and always moving. Different type of opponent to anyone I’ve ever faced,” Tszyu said.
“I’m not underestimating him. This is going to be a tough fight. I know that. He’s got better skills than Charlo, he beat Charlo and was winning his last fight with Charlo [before the knockout].”
Harrison is equally confident. He recently stated that he believes Tszyu made a huge mistake by agreeing to fight him instead of waiting for Charlo to heal.
Harrison will be coming off a 10-round unanimous decision win against Sergio Garcia in April.
Tszyu last fought in Feb. 2022 and scored a 12-round unanimous decision victory in a close fight that featured a first-round knockdown of the Australian.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.
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