Tim Tszyu is set to discover ‘any day now’ if he’ll be handed a world title fight against WBO super welterweight champion Brian Castaño.
But now another path to his maiden shot at a world championship has seemingly opened up, with President Mauricio Sulaimán of the rival WBC organisation revealing ‘there are talks’ about a potential elimination fight that – should he win – would see Tszyu fight WBC world champion Jermell Charlo.
As revealed yesterday by Main Event’s Ben Damon, Tszyu is awaiting a decision from the WBO on if he will be named mandatory challenger to their world champion Castaño and therefore fight for the belt.
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“They’re set to make their decision any day now,” Damon told Fox Sports News.
Tszyu is the number one contender on the WBO super welterweight rankings, but the organisation could opt for the Australian to fight an elimination bout with second-ranked contender Russia’s Magomed Kurbanov (22-0, 13KO). The winner would then face Castaño (17-0-2).
But WBC President Mauricio Sulaimán has now hinted that Tszyu – ranked #3 by the WBC – could be handed an elimination fight with the winner to fight Charlo (34-1-1), who also owns the world title belts from the IBF and WBA boxing organisations.
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Sulaimán told the KO Boxing Show: “I believe Tim is one of the upcoming superstars. He’s got talent, he’s got great charisma, great name – legacy. But also he can perform in the ring. He’s good. He’s got speed, he’s got power.
“I see him as a potential world champion in the near future. We have him ranked number three. There are talks about doing some fights – elimination fights – and potentially becoming a challenger for the championship and he has our full support.”
Above Tszyu on the WBC ranks are American Erickson Lubin (24-1-0) and Spaniard Sergio Garcia (33-0-0) – both tough prospects for the 26-year-old Australian.
An eliminator bout – either with those WBC contenders or with WBO contender Kurbanov – appears the most likely next step for Tszyu.
That’s because WBC, WBA, and IBF champion Charlo and WBO champion Castaño recently fought out a hugely controversial split decision draw. Castaño – believing he won comfortably, something many pundits agree with – is desperate for an immediate rematch.
Nevertheless, the effusive praise of Sulaimán proves Tszyu is now firmly on the world stage.
Sulaimán said: “His father is a legend. The WBC has always been very close with Konstantin (Kostya) Tszyu. My father had a great relations with him and we cannot wait to see the evolution of Tim who is making great inroads in the boxing world.
“I take this opportunity to send Tim my respect – my admiration. It is not easy to follow the steps of a successful father.
“For him to be following the steps of a great, legendary champion it’s additional admiration and I’m very proud of him.”