Tim Tszyu’s dream of a world title shot will become a reality after an agreement was struck for him to take on undisputed world super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo.
The two camps have reached a financial agreement to make the bout happen, with only the date and location yet to be determined. Tszyu will have the chance to take all four major belts away from the champion and become just the ninth undisputed world champion across all weight divisions since the four-belt era began in 2004.
Fellow Australian George Kambosos missed his opportunity to become an undisputed champion after suffering a points loss to Devin Haney last Sunday, although “Ferocious” has a rematch clause he plans to trigger.
Earlier this month, the World Boxing Organisation ordered that Tszyu be Charlo’s next opponent, leaving the parties 20 days to come to an agreement. In an interview with ESPN Knockout, WBO President Francisco Varcarcel confirmed the event was going ahead.
“They told us that they have an agreement and that they are looking for a date because big fights are coming and this is one of them,” Varacel said.
Tszyu’s promoters, No Limit, will push to stage the fight in Australia, but given Charlo is the champion and can dictate terms, it’s almost certain it will be held on American soil.
Tim Tszyu will be fighting Jermell Charlo in a bid to become the undisputed champion.Credit:SMH
Speaking earlier this month after the WBO mandated the Charlo fight, Tszyu said described the bout as his “Zab Judah moment”. It was a reference to the famous victory notched by his father, hall-of-famer Kostya, who upset Judah with a stunning second-round knockout at the MGM in Las Vegas 21 years ago.
Tszyu junior now gets a chance to cause an upset of his own against another brash American considered among the biggest pound-for-pound stars in the sport.
“This is the moment every kid dreams of,” Tszyu said at the time. “The best thing about it is [Charlo] reckons it will be a walk in the park. I can guarantee you that this is no walk in the park for him.”
Charlo unified the division when he stopped Argentine Brian Castano in California last month. In winning the rematch - their first contest resulted in a controversial draw - Charlo added Castano’s WBO belt to the WBC, WBA and IBF belts already in his possession.
Tszyu, who was ringside for the event, has had a running verbal battle with Charlo. The “Soul Taker” has wanted to take on Charlo from the moment the cocky American taunted him as “Tim Kostya Tszyu”, a jibe about him not being as good as his legendary father. Tszyu has taken exception at the sledge, prompting him to respond with “Call me by my name, mother-----” after he defeated Terrell Gausha in Minneapolis earlier this year.
“He’s just the typical, flashy, talk smack-type guy,” Tszyu said. “There’s no better way to shut him up than to punch him in the face. That’s what I want to do.
“This is the destiny, all I’ve ever worked for. I’m 27 years old and for it to happen this early in my career, it’s great.”
Tszyu injured his hands in beating Gausha, which required surgery to both. However, he is adamant he has plenty of time to recover ahead of the Charlo clash.