Tszyu: When I am mandatory, Charlo must fight me

Australian contender Tim Tszyu has said unified 154lbs champion Jermell Charlo will have to face him when he becomes a mandatory challenger after the American said there was “no chance” of that fight happening.

The highly-rated Tszyu is currently ranked WBC No.4, IBF No.3 and WBO No.1 ahead of his July 7 meeting with Aussie rival Michael Zerafa. Ten days later, WBC, WBA Super and IBF champion Charlo will attempt to become the undisputed king at the weight when he battles WBO title holder Brian Castano.

Should Charlo win and remain at 154lbs, his path seems destined to cross with Tszyu. But the American recently told ‘Ringside with the Lions’ that a Tszyu bout was unlikely at best. “He ain’t even on the level to fight some of the guys that I’ve knocked the fuck out of and he ain’t even going to get no chance to fight me, probably throughout my career. I’m just being honest with you,” said Charlo.

But Tszyu, son of the great 140lbs champion Kostya, has shrugged off those comments as he homes in on a career-defining clash with Charlo.

“Once I become mandatory one day, he won’t have no choice but to fight me. The American boys are like that, they like to run their mouths a bit,” Tszyu told Fox Sports. “What we do here in Australia, we knock them out just the way my dad used to do. Knock them out and come back here. He knows who I am. He’s aware. It’s better than being the unknown.

“Domestically, I have fought everyone here that’s possible. There’s one last name, one last key to the puzzle left. I feel like I’ve cleaned up my division completely, from the super-welterweights to the middleweights It’s been good in a certain way, but after this there’s only one option.”