Tim Tszyu and his team are preparing for a world title fight.
A compromise was reached, which leaves the unbeaten Australian armed with a working relationship with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and a headlining appearance for his stateside debut. Tszyu (20-0, 15KOs) tops a Showtime Championship Boxing tripleheader in a crossroads bout with 2012 U.S. Olympian and former title challenger Terrell Gausha (22-2-1, 11KOs) this Saturday from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
With a win on Saturday, the expectation is clear for Tszyu’s next ring adventure—the winner of the undisputed junior middleweight championship rematch between Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18KOs) and Brian Castano (17-0-2, 12KOs), or his owed shot at the WBO 154-pound title, vacant or otherwise.
“I’m the WBO mandatory challenger. Whatever the boys decide to do next after their rematch, that’s their choice,” Tszyu insisted to BoxingScene.com. “If they want to lose their title, the winner can face me once the WBO mandates the fight. Or they can just give it up. All I know is my next fight will be for the world title.”
Tszyu has served as the number one contender to Castano’s WBO title for several months, emerging as the mandatory challenger last summer. The delay in the fight being ordered came with all four sanctioning bodies agreeing to allow Castano and Charlo—the reigning lineal/WBC/WBA/IBF champion—to enter an immediate rematch following their disputed split decision draw last July.
The WBO was prepared to call for a Castano-Tszyu fight after biceps injury suffered by Castano forced a postponement of the originally scheduled March 19 rematch, with Tszyu-Gausha due to have served as the co-feature. Tszyu’s team even filed a formal appeal calling for the mandatory title fight but eventually reached an agreement with PBC to include a lucrative stay-busy fight—albeit in the form of a stiff test—and with the promise of getting the winner of the rematch which is rescheduled for May 14.
Whether or not the Charlo-Castano complies is irrelevant.
“My next fight will be for the WBO world title,” vows Tszyu. “And my next fight after that will be my first title defense.”