Via Brian Webber: Tim Tszyu will face former WBC 154 lb champion Tony Harrison for the interim WBO middleweight title on March 12 in Australia.
The winner of the Tszyu-Harrison fight on March 12 will face undisputed champion Jermell Charlo once he is able to return to competition.
Tszyu & Harrison are battling a hand injury sustained by undisputed 154 lb heavyweight champion Jermell Charlo during practice, the injury is expected to keep him out of action for the most part. time of the first half of 2023.
The undefeated Jermell may not be 100% ready to defend his four belts against the Tszyu-Harrison fight until July or August.
Instead of Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) sitting motionless until Charlo is healthy enough to fight, he will face 32-year-old ‘Super Bad’ Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs) for WBO temporary title 154-lb.
With Tszyu having been out of action since a decisive 12th round win over Terrell Gausha last March, it’s vital that he gets back into the ring to fight.
If Tszyu chose to wait until Jermell recovered from his broken left hand, he would have been out of the ring for a year and a half. The rusty ring will give Charlo a huge advantage over Tszyu and probably enough for him to get through this fight without being dethroned.
“I think Australia is about to erupt. I hadn’t fought in almost a year and a half returning home, and I knew it was going to be the biggest show ever.” Tszyu said.
“But the biggest problem he has is not the fans; I’m here. He (Harrison) is the next best option. I’m at the stage of my career where I don’t care who is in front of me. I’m ready to take them all down.”
Against Harrison would be an excellent match in preparation for a big game between Charlo and Tszyu in the summer.
Harrison, 32, is ranked #2 WBC & #3 WBO, and was on the verge of a decisive 10th round win over Sergio Garcia last April. Before that, Harrison hit a 12-round draw with Bryant Perrella in April 2021.
Inactivity has been a big deal for Harrison, as he’s only fought twice since losing the 154 lb WBC belt to Jermell by eleventh round knockout in December 2021. Being inactive could put him at a huge disadvantage being with Tszyu, 28.