Boxing 2022: Tim Tszyu hits back after Eddie Hearn questions pedigree for Jermell Charlo bout

Tim Tszyu has fired back at powerful boxing voices who have questioned his readiness to fight world champion Jermell Charlo.

Tim Tszyu has vowed to silence the doubters including leading fight promoter Eddie Hearn as he edges closer to securing a world title showdown against Jermell Charlo.

Hearn said last week Charlo would be too strong for Tszyu, but the Aussie has given that short shrift.

“I wouldn’t take the fight if I wasn’t confident, that’d be pretty stupid of me,” Tszyu said.

“That’s what makes you great, when people doubt you, they say this and that and you prove everyone completely wrong.

“If you want to be great, you’ve got to do great things.”

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Hearn said: “I’ll be honest, I think it’s too soon for Tim.

“There were a lot of flaws in his last fight against [Terrell] Gausha. He got dropped in the first round but he did well to fight back and win on points.

“The Charlo fight is too early for him to be honest with you.

“I don’t see him winning that fight, but he also has a very good team around him. No Limit have done a very good job with Tim, I’m impressed with their shows, and they believe in him so much that sometimes you can be seduced by it.

Tim Tszyu.
Tim Tszyu.

“I have made that mistake before as a promoter. You think a fighter is ready and you think a fighter can win a certain fight because you believe in him and love him so much.”

Tszyu responded: “I’m self-motivated, these guys can say whatever, they think they know but when you get in the ring with me it’s a different story. They feel it differently.”

Tszyu is expecting confirmation of an undisputed world title fight within days against Charlo, who holds all four major belts in the super-welterweight division.

Tszyu has agreed to fight Charlo in the United States after initially hoping to lure the American to Australia.

Meanwhile, Tszyu’s younger brother Nikita is ready to pile more pain on the Horn family after signing to fight Ben Horn, younger brother of Jeff who retired after a stoppage loss to Tim Tszyu two years ago.

Nikita, who has two thundering knockout wins from his two professional bouts, revealed his sinister side after facing up to Horn (4-4).

“I can be a little bit mean at times, but I’m not really trying to act tough, it’s not who I am,” Nikita said.

“I’m not going to put on this facade that I’m this tough boxer. I’m a little bit of a weirdo at times, I’m not going to hidethat part about me.

“But there is a bit of a psycho within me when the gloves come on. So I become a different person in different situations.

“I am simply a soldier that fulfils their task to my utmost ability.”

Tim Tszyu had a stern warning for those saying he would stand no chance.
Tim Tszyu had a stern warning for those saying he would stand no chance.

Horn said he is desperate to avenge his brother’s defeat when he faces Nikita over six rounds on July 20 at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion.

“I’m coming to upset the party, I’m coming for war,” Horn said.

“We’ve got to get one back on the name.

“I’ve always wanted this fight, as soon as they gave me the go-ahead I signed the contract.”

Nikita said: “It excites me, he’s in there to try to take my head off, that’s the funnest thing about this sport, you’re in the ring with someone, one-on-one, they’re trying everything in their power to try to hurt you.

“But you’re doing the exact same back to them.

“And it’s such a sweet feeling when you slowly start to pick them apart, you slowly start to see that confidence degrade. It’s just a warm feeling in my heart when that happens.”

Tim Tszyu doesn’t give Horn much chance of getting past two rounds.

“It would be the best thing to happen for him, to go a couple more, but I don’t think this is the fight that’s going to goa couple of rounds,” Tim said.

“All that toughness can get you through a fight, but when you’ve got someone like Nikita in front of you, it’s not going to last.”

The Tszyu vs Horn 2.0 fight night will also feature Sam Goodman, Ty Telford, Darragh Foley and Shanell Dargan on the undercard.

TSZYU VS HORN 2.0: LITTLE BROS CONTINUE THE RIVALRY

It’s Tszyu vs Horn 2.0.

Two years after Tim Tszyu ended the boxing career of Jeff Horn, their younger brothers will collide in the ring as Ben Horn seeks revenge.

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Nikita Tszyu will take on Ben Horn two years after their brothers fought. Picture: Getty Images
Nikita Tszyu will take on Ben Horn two years after their brothers fought. Picture: Getty Images

Contracts are in place for Ben Horn to fight Nikita Tszyu at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney on July.

The Tszyu vs Horn rivalry became the biggest in Australian boxing since Anthony Mundine vs Danny Green, and their 2020 showdown in Townsville was the fifth highest-selling pay-per-view boxing event in Australian history.

The Nikita Tszyu vs Ben Horn fight will be shown free for Fox Sports and Kayo subscribers.

Nikita (2-0, 2KO) has stormed onto the boxing scene with two vicious knockout wins in his first two fights, catching the attention of global promoter Eddie Hearn.

In his last fight, Ben Horn (4-4) lost a majority decision for the Australian welterweight championship to Ben Kite on March 13.

Jeff Horn, the former WBO welterweight world champion, suffered an eighth-round stoppage loss to Tim Tszyu on August 26, 2020, with Ben in his corner, and has never fought again.

He has become a regular commentator on Fox Sports and Main Event boxing events, while Ben, nicknamed ‘The Hunter’, has remained active, racking up four consecutive wins before back-to-back decision losses to Lachlan O’Shea and Kite.

Ben Horn was in his brother’s corner when Jeff was beaten by Tim Tszyu in 2020.
Ben Horn was in his brother’s corner when Jeff was beaten by Tim Tszyu in 2020.

No Limit Boxing chief executive George Rose paid tribute to Ben Horn for accepting the fight against Nikita after others backed out.

“Ben was the only super-welterweight in Australia who walked the talk and genuinely chased this fight,” Rose said.

“It’s a credit to him, he’s a genuine fighter. There’s a host of fighters quick to shout the Tszyu name and claim they want him next but a deafening silence when I follow them up.

“Nikita’s a walking highlight reel every time he steps foot into the ring. His raw talent is limitless and I know [trainer] Igor (Goloubev) will have him prepared for anything. The power in his hands is something else and it’s making noise not just here in Australia on his opponents, but around the world too.”

Tszyu vs Horn surpassed Horn’s famous victory against Manny Pacquiao in pay-per-view sales, and Rose said having their younger brothers fight was a natural marketing play.

“For me, the original will always be a classic, it was the crowning of a new king of Australian boxing in our man Tim Tszyu,” Rose said.

When Tim Tszyu defeated Jeff Horn it was to some the crowning of a new king of Australian boxing. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
When Tim Tszyu defeated Jeff Horn it was to some the crowning of a new king of Australian boxing. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

“It was also a long and brutal story that had plenty of plot twists and questionable characters but one that ultimately ended with a great battle and plenty of heart.

“Everyone knows the best sequels are action-packed family dramas, and Tszyu v Horn part two will be no different.

“Will ‘The Hunter’ avenge his fallen brother or will Nikita defend the family name and continue his rise to the top?

“Ben comes from a fighting family and is the most experienced fighter Nikita has faced. He has a world champion brother and trainer (Glenn Rushton) in his corner.”

The news comes as Tim Tszyu moves closer to securing an undisputed super-welterweight title fight against Jermell Charlo in the United States in October or November.

Their teams are in the final stages of negotiations and despite a legal threat from the IBF – who want Charlo to defend against their No. 1 mandatory Bakhram Murtazaliev – it’s expected the Australian will get first crack at the four belts.

Tszyu are you kidding? Kingpin warns of brutal reality check

- Peter Badel

World boxing kingpin Eddie Hearn has warned Tim Tszyu is not ready for a world-title shot and fears Jermell Charlo will hand the Australian a brutal reality check if their blockbuster unification bout goes ahead.

Powerhouse promoter Hearn has spent the past week Down Under getting a close-up view of the domestic boxing scene as his multimillion-dollar Matchroom empire looks to spread its tentacles to the Australian market.

Australian boxing has witnessed an explosion of world-class talent in recent years, headlined by Jeff Horn, George Kambosos, Justis Huni, Jai Opetaia, Michael Zerafa and the Maloney twins Andrew and Jason, but few have the pedigree and profile of Tszyu.

The son of Kostya is set for his world-title debut against undisputed champion Charlo. All four belts will be on the line for a super middleweight showdown likely to take place in America in October this year.

The jury is out on Tszyu (21-0, 15KO). His talent is undeniable, but he suffered a scare in his first overseas fight in March, overcoming a shock first-round knockdown to beat American Olympian Terrell Gausha on points in March.

Eddie Hearn says Tim Tszyu is not ready for a world-title showdown with Jermell Charlo.
Eddie Hearn says Tim Tszyu is not ready for a world-title showdown with Jermell Charlo.

Charlo (35-1-1, 19KO) destroyed Brian Castano last month to become just the seventh undisputed champion of the four-belt era. Tszyu faces a massive challenge _ and Hearn can hear alarm bells ringing.

“I‘ll be honest, I think it’s too soon for Tim,” Hearn said.

“There were a lot of flaws in his last fight against Gausha. He got dropped in the first round but he did well to fight back and win on points.

“The Charlo fight is too early for him to be honest with you.

“I don‘t see him winning that fight, but he also has a very good team around him. No Limit have done a very good job with Tim, I’m impressed with their shows, and they believe in him so much that sometimes you can be seduced by it.

“I have made that mistake before as a promoter. You think a fighter is ready and you think a fighter can win a certain fight because you believe in him and love him so much.

“I just look at the Charlo fight and how dominant Charlo was and think, ‘Is it the right time for Tszyu to face him’? But opportunities don’t come up very often, so if the opportunity is there for Tszyu to fight Charlo for the undisputed, I guess you can’t blame him for taking it.

“Tim is talented, no question, but I don‘t think he wins that fight.”

GREEN AND GOLD-MINE

Matchroom is one of world boxing‘s most powerful promotional giants, featuring a stable of more than 80 fighters, including superstars Anthony Joshua, Canelo Alvarez and heavyweight king Oleksandr Usyk.

But Hearn is so intrigued by the Australian market that he is making incursions. Matchroom will launch their first show in September on Queensland soil, with unbeaten young guns Liam Paro (22-0) and Brock Jarvis (20-0) to deliver the main event.

Powerhouse promoter Eddie Hearn has big plans for boxing in Australia.
Powerhouse promoter Eddie Hearn has big plans for boxing in Australia.

“We have a big global vision for the sport,” Hearn said. ”We are already in many territories around the world. The UK is our prime market, and we‘re in the US, Mexico, Italy, Spain and the Middle East, but Australia is a market that will be very important

“I have been around the world very aggressively but I come to Australia in peace. We plan to do four to six shows in Australia every year. We want to bring exposure to Australian boxing and invest in the grassroots of the professional code, but more importantly we want to make great fights from top to bottom.”

SONNY BILL v GALLEN

One of those fights could be an NRL super bout between Sonny Bill Williams and Paul Gallen. Hearn confirmed he has held talks with All Blacks icon SBW about being on a Matchroom card.

“Australian fight fans are more educated and they appreciate watching real quality boxers, but we can‘t ignore the interest and the numbers generated by Sonny Bill and Gallen,” Hearn said.

Hearn is in talks with Sonny Bill Williams to fight Paul Gallen.
Hearn is in talks with Sonny Bill Williams to fight Paul Gallen.

“I know Sonny Bill Williams personally and I have already talked to him about fighting Paul Gallen.

“It was disappointing to see Paul Gallen lose (to Kris Terzievski last month), it takes a little bit of the cream off it, because Sonny Bill looked good against Barry Hall and he has a decent future in the sport.

“The main focus is to invest in Australian boxing and put the best Aussie fighters on our big shows around the world. But we are also open to making a great commercial fight like Sonny Bill versus Paul Gallen.

“It would be a massive event.”

FEROCIOUS COMEBACK

Kambosos was outclassed by Devin Haney in their unification bout in Melbourne a fortnight ago. The Sydneysider has activated a re-match clause — despite many thinking he is no hope of beating Haney - but Hearn applauded ‘Ferocious’.

“He has to take the re-match, 100 per cent,” he said.

“Look, he got well beaten, and I‘m not sure if he can win a re-match, but at the end of the day, what else are you going to do?

Hearn backed George Kambosos’ desire for a re-match with Devin Haney.
Hearn backed George Kambosos’ desire for a re-match with Devin Haney.

“There is talk of him stepping aside and waiting to take on the winner of a Haney- (Vasiliy) Lomachenko fight, but George must not wait. I have seen this a million times. You end up waiting and something doesn‘t materialise and then your re-match shot is gone.

“Kambosos has one more chance to become undisputed and he should take it. There is no value for George to have a warm-up fight against an inferior opponent. He has to go for it and get Haney back to Australia.”

NEW KID ON THE BROCK

Hearn says Paro, the WBO No. 1 at super lightweight, is taking a huge gamble by fighting Jarvis on Matchroom‘s debut Australian show.

Mackay mauler Paro is the mandatory for a world-title shot. The Jeff Fenech-trained Jarvis, who has moved up to super lightweight, has never fought in the division, but will sensationally steal the No. 1 ranking if he beats Paro.

Aussie young guns Liam Paro (left) and Brock Jarvis will headline Matchroom’s first show in Australia in September this year.
Aussie young guns Liam Paro (left) and Brock Jarvis will headline Matchroom’s first show in Australia in September this year.

“Liam is taking a big risk,” Hearn said. ”If he loses, he has lost his world-title shot. His camp believe Liam will be too good for Brock, but Jarvis is a handful. Both guys are undefeated. I look at Brock Jarvis and think he should be a star. He is young, good looking and has a great all-action style, 20-0 and Jeff Fenech is his trainer and manager, so let‘s see him against Paro.

“There is a really good energy in boxing in Australia. The talent isn’t spoilt, so they are willing to take chances and roll the dice and be in real fights and that’s what I want to deliver.”

Tszyu agrees to fight Charlo in US

Tim Tszyu has agreed to fight Jermell Charlo in the United States to avoid a drawn out courtroom battle and risk losing his shot at the undisputed super-welterweight championship.

Tszyu has endured a rollercoaster week after the WBO ordered Charlo to defend his title against the Australian, before the IBF then had legal letters drawn up saying their No. 1 contender Bakhram Murtazaliev is the rightful first challenger to the belts.

Jermell Charlo became the first man to unify the super-welterweight division in the four-belt era when he stopped Brian Castano. Picture: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Jermell Charlo became the first man to unify the super-welterweight division in the four-belt era when he stopped Brian Castano. Picture: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Tszyu had hoped to bring the Charlo title fight to the new Sydney Football Stadium, however the American wants his first undisputed defence at home, and Tszyu has yielded to get a deal done before the cut-off date on Monday (June 20).

And to sweeten the deal, he’s offering Russia’s Murtazaliev – who has little profile in the US and fought on Tszyu’s undercard in Minneapolis in March – first crack at the titles should he defeat Charlo.

“Of course it’s a big ask, fighting the top bloke in the division in his backyard, but once you’re in the ring it’s one-on-one, it doesn’t matter what friends or family are there or where it’s at, it doesn’t bother me,” Tszyu told News Corp.

Tim Tszyu must head to the US to fight Charlo. Picture: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Tim Tszyu must head to the US to fight Charlo. Picture: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

“We’re ready, and there’s genuine interest behind it. Murtazaliev, people have got no idea about him, Charlo needs interesting bouts and this one makes sense.

“If it’s meant to be it will be, my training hasn’t stopped.

“I would have loved to have the fight at the new Sydney Football Stadium, but if it means I’ve got to go to America to get this fight I’ll go there, no problems.

“I’d like to fight him in Las Vegas, that’s where the biggest boxing events have always been.

Jermell Charlo (gold/red shorts) knocks down Brian Castano (white/pink shorts) during their super middleweight title fight at Dignity Health Sports Park on May 14, 2022. Picture: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Jermell Charlo (gold/red shorts) knocks down Brian Castano (white/pink shorts) during their super middleweight title fight at Dignity Health Sports Park on May 14, 2022. Picture: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

“Murtazaliev has been waiting in line a long time, he deserves a shot as well, so 100 per cent I will give him first crack if I beat Charlo.”

Charlo (35-1-1, 19KO) became the first man to unify the super-welterweight division in the four-belt era when he stopped Brian Castano in the 10th round of their rematch on May 14.

With Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk scheduled for August, and Canelo Alvarez’s trilogy bout against Gennadiy Golovkin set for September, it now seems a Charlo-Tszyu fight would occur in October or November.

Bakhram Murtazaliev is threatening to stop Tim Tszyu from fighting Jermell Charlo for the undisputed super-welterweight championship.
Bakhram Murtazaliev is threatening to stop Tim Tszyu from fighting Jermell Charlo for the undisputed super-welterweight championship.

But that is if Murtazaliev (20-0, 15KO), who has been the No. 1 mandatory challenger in the IBF for two years, takes more step-aside money to let the bout take place.

His lawyer Pat English threatened legal action this week, sending a letter to Charlo’s camp and the WBO stating: “There exists a contract for Jermell Charlo to fight against Bakhram Murtazaliev and it appears that the WBO is interfering with that contract and with the prospective economic advantage of Bakhram Murtazaliev.

Jernell Charlo (gold/red shorts) exchanges punches in the ring with Brian Castano (white/pink shorts) during their super middleweight title fight on May 14, 2022. Picture: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Jernell Charlo (gold/red shorts) exchanges punches in the ring with Brian Castano (white/pink shorts) during their super middleweight title fight on May 14, 2022. Picture: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

“Charlo agreed that he had ten days to either relinquish the title or he would proceed to fight Bakhram, who is the IBF mandatory. Mr. Charlo did not relinquish the IBF title and plans have been proceeding for that match. Indeed, there is a contract and a substantial sum of money in my trust account for the fight.”

Tszyu’s manager Glen Jennings said: “We will do whatever it takes to ensure Tim gets the undisputed title fight against Charlo, even if that means fighting in his home country and giving Murtazaliev a guaranteed shot at the first defence.”

Originally published as Boxing 2022: Tim Tszyu hits back after Eddie Hearn questions pedigree for Jermell Charlo bout