America somehow still does not really appreciate Tim Tszyu.
This is a common opinion from the other side of the world, despite its impressiveness. TKO victory over Tony Harrison in Sydney on Sunday.
Tszyu knocked out Harrison in the ninth round, winning the interim WBO super middleweight title and earning himself a fight with undisputed world champion Jermell Charlo.
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The 28-year-old fighter took a risk even fighting Harrison, given that he could just sit back and wait for Charlo to recover from the hand injury that caused their January fight to be postponed.
But the risk paid off as Tszyu landed some much-needed reps and picked up his first stoppage win since 2021.
It was an impressive performance that largely silenced his critics, many of whom believe that Tszyu had not fought an opponent before Harrison and accused him of taking advantage of his father Kostya’s coattails.
Many were impressed by his performance, including the graceful Harrison.
Well, it seems he hasn’t quite silenced all the critics. Tszyu is the mandatory contender for Charlo’s unified belts and has proven that he is as ready as it gets to fight him.
But the American wasn’t overly impressed with the Australian’s performance, saying he didn’t see anything in Tszyu’s victory over Harrison that he hadn’t seen before.
“He was impressive. He did what he had to do at home,” Charlo said on Showtime.
“He was a little flat for me. My movements, my style, my strength will make him do completely different things.
“This is exactly what we saw – to go forward, but not as fast and not at such a pace. Strongly, of course. Deals strong blows. Aren’t we all? But I’m a different animal there. I’m a different fighter than Tony.
“Tim is next and that’s what we had before the injury. It’s not that I’m not already prepared.
“He doesn’t really show me much athleticism. When you have skill, style, and strength combined, you get four belts. The fight with him will be tough because he goes forward, but I think he is perfect for my style,” he said.
“I know he can’t take my hit because I just know my hit is different. I just wanted to fight, just get it over with, shut him up, I’ve shut up a lot, this is just another one.
“He’s going to do the same. He’s not going to change much.”
Douglas Fisher, editor of the respected boxing publication Magazine Ringbelieves that Tszyu needs to have a couple more of these fights behind him before he fights Charlo.
“Harrison provided Tszyu with a great experience,” Fischer tweeted.
“He needs one or two more fights like this before he’s really ready for a beast like Charlo, but if Charlo-Tszyu is next, go ahead.”
Former world champion Ishe Oluwa Kamau Ali Smith said that Harrison did not put Jxiu to much of a test and the counterpuncher “would have had a field day” against him.
“It’s easy to look so great without returning anything, great test and he passed, but I looked at him like oh my God, the counter-puncher was going to have a field day on him,” said the ex-welterweight champion.
“Just my thoughts. I would love it, always loved that style, Wolak’s style. It makes counterpunchers like me dig deeper, we love setting traps for guys like Tim. Great win but Charlo, even Lubin, I think this is already too much, and who wins this freak of nature, what is his height yet.
DAZN boxing commentator Sergio Mora was also quick to dispel the hype surrounding Tszyu’s victory.
The harsh reality for Tszyu is that until he beats Charlo and strips him of his belts in his backyard, American boxing experts and fans will always find a reason to dissuade the Australian fighters.
As for when Tszyu vs. Charlo could take place, it could be within months, depending on Charlo’s fitness.
“It all depends on him and his recovery,” said George Rose, head of No Limit.
“I know that if I ask Tim when he wants to fight, he will say tomorrow. He will be ready to leave pretty soon, pretty soon I would say.
“We will sit down and discuss together this week and prepare for what comes next, but it all comes down to when Charlo is ready. As soon as he’s ready, so is Tim Tszyu.”
While many were quick to call Tszyu the world champion, he noted that he had only won an interim belt, which would mean nothing if he could not defeat Charlo and become only the ninth undisputed champion in boxing history.
“This is a temporary zone. The champion must be defeated,” Tszyu said.
“This is a small step forward in my journey, but the real one is defeating Charlo.”
Charlo’s eagerness to stop Tszyu’s hype train seemed to quell talk of the champion vacating his belts to move up in the division to take on brother Jarmell.
When asked if Charlo could be scared, Tszyu grinned: “Charlo is not afraid. We are fighters, we are not afraid. It’s just part of our mentality. There is such a thing as fear.”
32 year old man repeatedly mispronounced Tszyu’s name and the preparations for battle are sure to be sharp. “Charlo is a very angry person, he is who he is,” Tszyu said. “He barks a lot.”
Originally published as ‘He would have a field day’: America, Jermell Charlo reacts to Tim Tszyu demolition work