Tim Tszyu has been given a shot at the WBO super-welterweight world title, with a fight confirmed against Tony Harrison on March 12 in Australia.
The 28-year-old was originally scheduled to face undisputed champion Jermall Charlo in Las Vegas this month, but later pulled out of the fight after suffering a hand injury during training.
Tszyu had moved to America to prepare for a world title shot, with his team looking for a new opponent shortly after Charlo’s withdrawal.
One of the first men to publicly challenge the undefeated Tszyu was former world champion Harrison (29-3-1), who handed Charlo his only professional loss back in 2018.
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News broke on Monday morning (AEDT) that Tszyu would be next up against Harrison, with the WBO ordering a title match between the pair as they are likely to force Charlo to vacate the belt.
The deal is ripe! Tim Tszyu (21-0, 15KO) 🇦🇺 Tony Harrison (29-3-1, 21KO) 🇺🇸 will fight on Sunday March 12th in Australia TBA. Tszyu is the mandatory challenger for the injured Jermael Charlo’s undisputed world title, while former champion Harrison handed Charlo his only pro defeat. #TszyuHarrison pic.twitter.com/pASCyz6yPl
— Ben Damon (@ben_damon) January 22, 2023
Way to sleep for @Tim_Tszyu takes an unexpected turn.
The undefeated super welterweight will face the only man to beat Jermall Charlo on March 12.
— Aus-Boxing.com (@ausboxing) January 22, 2023
Tszyu (21-0) has beaten Aussie standouts Jeff Horn and Dennis Hogan en route to world titles, but hasn’t fought since a March 2022 victory over Terrell Gosha.
The upcoming interim title fight will be the first time Tszyu has fought in Australia in nearly 18 months, with the venue yet to be confirmed.
The Daily Telegraph It is reported that the competition will likely take place in Sydney, Melbourne or the Gold Coast.
Tszyu told the publication that he understands the risk involved, but is looking forward to the challenge and putting on a show in front of his beloved home fans.
“Every fight you fight is on the line, you’re one punch away from going back to the bottom,” he said.
“It’s all on the line and a gamble, but that’s what I do. It’s boxing, it’s part of my career and I’m a fighter first.
“I haven’t fought at home for almost a year and a half and I know it’s going to be the biggest show ever. It’s a great fight for Australia and a special moment in my career.
“I have a lot of passionate fans who are supporting and following me, so I guess that [Harrison] Australia will feel a certain paranoia about its environment. But the biggest problem he’s running into isn’t the fans, it’s me.
“He was the next best available option. I’m at the stage in my career where I don’t really care who’s in front of me. I’m ready to take them all out.”