JermellCharlo has fought elite opponents for over eight- and nine years. He has beat every opponent he’s fought.
The undisputed champion of 154-pounds vengeanced a loss to Tony Harrison, and a draw with Brian Castano. He stopped both men in rematches, leaving no doubt as to his superiority. Few fighters can match his success rate.
Charlo’s next legitimate challenge comes on Jan. 28, when the 32-year-old Texan will face top-ranked Tim Tszyu of Australia in Las Vegas (Showtime). He anticipates a similar outcome.
“I knew that once I got to this point in my life, that I’d face nothing but top tier guys,” Charlo said Wednesday on a Zoom call that featured both fighters. “That’s all I want. I don’t underestimate anyone, but Tim Tszyu is not the same caliber as I am. Although his father was a boxer, my pedigree is strong. My pedigree has been proven over many years.
“Tszyu is young and hungry but I’m young and hungry as well. I’m in the prime of my life, and I’m going to challenge myself on January 28.”
Tszyu (21-0-15KOs) is an addition to the exclusive club top-tier fighters.
The son of Hall of Famer KostyaTszyu saw his breakthrough in 2020 when he beat Jeff Horn in eight rounds.
He’s coming off biggest victory, a unanimous decision over former U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha this past March in Minneapolis that earned him the holy grail of boxing opportunities, a shot at all four major titles in one fight.
Where will we find out how great the 28-yearold Sydney man is on January 28, the same day his father stopped Jake Rodriguez from winning his first title back in 1995.
“When I first was told about the date, I didn’t realize that was the same date my father fought for his first world title,” the younger Tszyu said. “I don’t usually believe in fate. I believe destiny and fate are something you have to achieve.
“For me, I feel like it doesn’t matter about the bloodline. It’s about what you, yourself put into it. I’ve been eyeing this fight for two years now. It’s been in the back of my mind, and I’ve been studying and obsessing over it. I’ve been pushing for this hard.
“This is the test that I need in my career. This is it for me, kill or be killed.”
Of course, it’s a test Charlo believes Tszyu will fail. “Nobody is ready for me in my division,” he said. And Tszyu made a bold prediction, saying, “There’s going to be a new king of the division on January 28.”
They both have reason to believe they’re right.