Boxing

Tim Tszyu Wants Canelo Alvarez Next After Beating Brian Mendoza


By Matt Lieberman: Tim Tszyu says he’d like to face superstar Canelo Alvarez next following his impressive victory over Brian Mendoza last Saturday night in Queensland, Australia.

Tim will be fighting in the U.S. now, as he wants to face the popular big names like Canelo, Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr., and Jermell Charlo.

As far as Jermell goes, Tszyu doesn’t have much hope of getting that fight anytime soon because he feels that he’s going to be inactive for the next year, spending the money that he made in his recent contest against Canelo last September.

Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) is aiming for the top of the tree and says it would be an “honor” for him to fight Canelo.  It would be a huge fight and would attract a lot of interest from fans in the States & Australia.

Last Saturday night, Tszyu beat Mendoza (22-3, 16 KOs) by a twelve round unanimous decision in an exciting fight on Showtime. The scores were 116-112, 116-111 and 117-111.

Tszyu calls out Canelo Alvarez

Canelo. If I could fight Canelo, that would be a privilege and an honor, but Charlo, of course,” said Tim Tszyu to Fighthype when asked who he wants to fight next between Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo.

The Mexican star Canelo will be fighting next May, and he hasn’t named his opponent yet. If Tszyu can take that spot, it would be a fantastic opportunity for him. However, Canelo is unlikely to fight Tszyu because he may not want to face backlash from fans for fighting another 154-pounder after Jermell.

It’s a shame Canelo didn’t choose Tszyu to fight instead of Jermell, because Tszyu would have given him a real challenge last September, unlike the one-sided contest we saw.

Jermell looked like his goal was not to get knocked out, so it wouldn’t mess up his plans for fighting Terence Crawford immediately after.

If Tszyu wants the fight with Canelo, he should move up to 160 and challenge IBF/WBO champ Janibek Alimkhanuly, WBA champion Erislandy Lara, or WBC interim belt holder Carlos Adames to pick up one of their titles.

Janibek would be the ideal opponent for Tszyu, as it would give him the chance to fight for two belts.

Whether Top Rank would be willing to let Janibek fight Tszyu is the big question because they believe they can turn him into a star by having him become undisputed champion at 160.

Frankly, that’s a poor plan because he’s not going to get the opportunity to fight Jermall, and beating 40-year-old Lara & Adames aren’t big enough names to increase Janibek’s popularity.

Top Rank would be better off matching Janibek against Tszyu, as the attention he’d receive from that fight would be far greater than becoming undisputed at 160, which could take years for him to achieve.

Obviously, WBC 160-lb champion Jermall Charlo won’t want anything to do with Tszyu because he’s supposedly in the pipeline for a fight with Canelo next May, but the other three champions are available at 160.

Tim showed poise against Mendoza

“It was a different type of performance from Tim Tszyu, but nevertheless, an entertaining one and a great one,” said promoter George Rose to Jai McAllister following Tszyu’s win over Mendoza last Saturday night.

“I think that’s the level Brian Mendoza is at. He’s a great fighter. He was interim WBC champion for a reason because he is good; he is dangerous. I’m glad that Tim didn’t allow the occasion to overwhelm him in any way, stuck to his game plan, and stayed patient.”

The fact that Tszyu didn’t get anxious against the 29-year-old Mendoza helped him, as didn’t get worried when he was under attack during stages in the fight.

Mendoza was loading up frequently with homerun shots, trying to score a one-punch knockout like he’d done in his previous fight against Sebastian Fundora.

“I know Brian talked about patience during the week, but we saw a really patient performance from Tim Tszyu, waiting for his opportunities and wearing him down, and then turning the fight into his fight,” said Rose.

I can’t believe it went the distance. The shots that he [Tszyu] landed were amazing. I felt every one of them. They were amazing shots. It shows the heart and will of Brian Mendoza. He turned up to win, and he wasn’t going to give up at any stage.”

The punches that Tszyu was landing would have knocked over a truck, but it was surprising that Mendoza was able to take them without folding.

In the eleventh round, Mendoza looked like he was about to go down, and the referee could have stepped in to stop the fight.

No one would have argued if the ref had stopped it in that round because Mendoza was in dire shape, and was taking a vicious beating from Tszyu.

“He [Mendoza] was still throwing them bombs. That last round, he was still looking for the win. He was still looking for the big knockout, and I love that,” said Rose.

“I think he’s Mr. 154 now, and I think he solidified himself as the guy at 154,” Rose said about Tszyu. “If you want to come to that division, you got to go to Tim Tszyu. If you want to get the big fight in that division, Tim Tszyu is that big fight in that division.

Anybody that is coming up from 147 come see Tim. He’s ready. I think anytime from March onward. February or March, really,” said Rose about when Tszyu plans on fighting next.

What Rose is talking about is likely Terence Crawford & Errol Spence Jr. coming up to 154 and looking up Tszyu as their opponent.

Crawford will probably prefer to fight Jermell because he still holds three belts in the division, but if Terence chooses not to face him, Tszyu would be the logical option.

“As far as when Tim’s next fight is and when that is, it’ll depend on the opponent, and we’ll be working on that over the next month. Tim’s a guy that you don’t want to fight,” said Rose.

“Tim’s good, he’s dangerous, and he comes from Australia going over to America. He’s a fight that people usually wouldn’t want, but now that he’s got a belt, it gives him a reason to step in the door to step into the ring.

“Having that, it’s really important to have that. So now we can use that as a bargaining chip to entice a few names.

“It was a good performance, staying active. I do think he could have finished that fight,” said Rose about Sam Goodman. “He did everything to finish that fight, but a few things worked against him in stopping that. I’m proud of Sam.”

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