Four-belt 154-lb champion Jermell Charlo may have missed the perfect window that he had to fight Tim Tszyu earlier this year in January before he gained more experience with impressive knockouts of former WBC junior middleweight Tony ‘Super Bad’ Harrison and the power-punching Carlos Ocampo.
Tszyu blasted out Ocampo (34-3, 22 KOs) in the first round last Saturday night after knocking him down twice at the Gold Coast Convention Centre, Broadbeach, Australia. Ocampo was in bad shape after the second knockout, forcing the referee Danrex Tapdasan to pull the plug on the fight at 1:17 of the round.
It may be too late for Jermell (35-1-1, 19 KOs) because Tszyu (23-0, 17 KOs) has improved his game, showing the kind of talent reminiscent of his famous dad, Kostya Tszyu.
Charlo should have fought Tszyu while he was still green without experience against quality opposition because now he will be facing someone who has been around the block and will know how to deal with what he’s up against.
Jermell hasn’t fought since his tenth round knockout win over WBO 154-lb champion Brian Castano in their rematch last year in May 2022, and some feel that he’s been enjoying himself too much enjoying his success from the win.
That kind of thing happens with fighters. When they pick up significant wins, they rest on their laurels, read their clippings, celebrate like mad, get lazy, fat, and don’t want to return to work. Tyson Fury, Jermall Charlo & Teofimo Lopez are textbook examples of that.
Jermell may have caught that same bug, which is terrible news for him because Tszyu is not the fighter you want to fight when you’ve been out for a year and a half, living off the memories of past glories.
We know Jermell suffered a broken left hand late last year, but it’s June, and he’s STILL not back inside the ring.
“I want Charlo on my resume. So, get it in here, and let’s dance in October,” said Tszyu, calling out Jermell after beating Ocampo. “I’ve overcome adversity, so it was about pushing through. I didn’t think it would be this quick. I feel like a pit bull, and there’s no stopping me. The big one is Charlo, so get your tickets. We’re coming back with four belts.”
Jermell hasn’t said anything about vacating his WBO title to swerve Tszyu, so we can expect him to defend against him next, provided he doesn’t need more time for his broken left hand to mend.
Charlo will likely be ring rusty, and it could be tough on him to go up against a young killer like Tszyu after a year and a half sitting idle.