Jermell Charlo will defend his undisputed junior middleweight title against high profile contender Tim Tszyu on January 8 at the Michelob Ultra Arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will be broadcast live on Showtime. Though Thursday’s official announcement was long overdue, it’s good to see that a major meeting is on the way for early 2023. 35-1-1 Charlo rules supreme over the division, and with good reason. He blew Brian Castano last spring after battling the man in a fiercely contested draw in the summer of 2021.
Now, in the first defense of his undisputed crown, Charlo will face an undefeated challenger who is part of a boxing legacy that provides him with name recognition. The son of former junior welterweight titlist Kostya Tszyu, young Tszyu has earned a record of twenty-one wins against zero losses. With all but six of his fights ending in distance, there’s no doubt that Tszyu knows how to end the show early, which makes this fight with Charlo especially fascinating.
“I’m thrilled to be back in the ring to defend my undisputed crown,” said Charlo, who knows a thing or two about ending a fight early. “I’m grateful for everything I’ve accomplished, but the battle isn’t over. Tim Tszyu is a young, hungry and aggressive fighter, but I’m a big pound for pound. I reign as the undisputed champion and if anyone wants a shot at the crown, he has to see me. I’m not going anywhere. I want all my fans to tune in because, once again, it’s Lions Only time and I’m going to light up Las Vegas and show the world that I’m the most dangerous fighter in the sport, no matter what division.”
Challenger Tszyu was happy and confident now knowing there was a time and place where he would meet Charlo in the ring. “It’s going to be a great fight because neither of us know how to step back and will be swinging from the start with very bad intentions,” he said. “I am preparing for a bloody war as I know he is too. I’ve been grinding for months already and am in the best shape of my career. The foundations were laid in Australia and Thailand, but now I’m here in the United States to take them to the next level, which is exactly what you need when you’re fighting for the undisputed world championship.”