What was once a dream is now within grasping distance for Tim Tszyu.
The Australian is set to take on undisputed champion Jermell Charlo after the WBO, the sanctioning body in which Tszyu is the No.1 mandatory challenger at super-welterweight, overnight ordered the American to defend his title. They have until June 20 to set the fight, otherwise it will go to a purse bid.
Charlo became just the seventh undisputed world champion across all weight divisions since the four-belt era began in 2004 when he notched a 10th-round stoppage of Argentina’s Brian Castano in California last month.
As a result, Charlo took home Castano’s WBO belt to the WBC, WBA and IBF belts already under his wings.
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Tszyu, 27, now has the chance to follow the lead of compatriot George Kambosos, who will put his belts on the line on Sunday against Devin Haneyto become a world champion and follow in the footsteps of his legendary father, Kostya.
Tszyu’s promoters No Limit Boxing confirmed the fight isn’t likely until the back-end of the year, with the location looming to be in the USA.
“Obviously him (Charlo) being the undisputed champion, all the cards are in their favor,” No Limit Boxing CEO George Rose told Fox Sports News.
“Where we’re at the moment is we’re pushing an Australian or US location. We’d love it in Australia, obviously they want the US location and if it’s in the US we’d be pushing for LA or Las Vegas. I think the likely timing of it would be October-November. ”
Tszyu was ringside in Carson earlier this month to see Charlo avenge his controversial draw against Brian Castano from last year.
The Australian was left livid when his cocky American rival taunted him by saying he wasn’t worthy of a chance of his four-belts.
Charlo called the ambitious Australian as “Tim Kostya Tszyu” – a not so subtle dig at his rival.
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Earlier, Tszyu issued a warning to his rivals by saying, “Call me by my name mother —–” after he defeated Terrell Gausha in Minneapolis in late March.
Documents on the WBO website confirmed the respective promoters – Tszyu’s No Limit Boxing and TGB Promotions – have been instructed to get the bout sorted.
The WBO World Championship Committee hereby orders the parties herein the commencement of negotiations for the above-mentioned WBO Jr. Middleweight Mandatory Championship Contest, ”wrote Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of the WBO Championship Committee.
“Please be advised that the parties have twenty (20) days upon receipt of this letter to reach an agreement.
“If an accord is not reached within the time frame set forth herein, a Purse Bid will be ordered pursuant to the WBO Regulations of the World Championship Contests.
“The minimum acceptable bid for the WBO Jr. Middleweight Division is $ 200,000.00 (Two-Hundred Thousand Dollars). Any of the parties involved may request a purse bid procedure at any time during the negotiation process. Please do not hesitate to contact the WBO if you have any questions or concerns. ”
Tszyu is also rated No.2 in the WBC and No.3 in the IBF, and is undefeated with a record of 21-0 (15KO) while Charlo is 35-1-1- (19KO).