By: Sean Crose
Jermell Charlo will defend his undisputed junior middleweight title against high profile contender Tim Tszyu on January 8th at the Michelob Ultra Arena At Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will be aired live on Showtime. Although Thursday’s official announcement had long been expected, it’s good to see that a major bout is in the pipe for early 2023. The 35-1-1 Charlo rules supreme over the division, and with good reason. He wiped out Brian Castano last spring after fighting the man to an extremely hard fought draw back in the summer of 2021.
Now, in the first defense of his undisputed crown, Charlo will be facing an undefeated challenger who is part of a boxing legacy that provides him with name recognition. The son of former junior welterweight titlist Kostya Tszyu, the younger Tszyu has earned himself a record of twenty-one wins against zero losses. With all but six of his fights having ended within the distance, there’s no doubt Tszyu knows how to end show early, which makes this fight with Charlo particularly fascinating.
“I’m excited to be back in the ring to defend my undisputed crown,” stated Charlo, who knows a bit about ending a fight early himself. “I’m thankful for everything I’ve accomplished, but the battle isn’t over. Tim Tszyu is a young, hungry, aggressive fighter but I’m a pound-for-pound great. I reign as the undisputed champion and if anyone wants a shot at the crown, they gotta see me. I’m not going anywhere. I want all my fans to tune in because once again, it’s Lions Only time and I plan to light up Las Vegas and show the world that I’m the most dangerous fighter in the sport, regardless of division.”
Challenger Tszyu was happy and confident now knowing there was a time and place that he would meet Charlo in the ring. “It’s going to be a great fight as neither of us know how to take a backward step and are going to be swinging from the start with very bad intentions,” he said. “I’m preparing for a bloody war as I know he is too. I’ve already been grinding for months and I’m in the best shape of my career. The groundwork was laid in Australia and Thailand but I’m here now in the U.S. to take it to the next level, which is exactly what’s needed when you’re fighting for the undisputed championship of the world.”
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