Tim Tszyu’s 9th round knockout victory over Tony Harrison seven weeks ago cemented his spot at Australia’s number one. The 28-year-old moved to 22-0 (16 KOs) in yet another highly attended event in his homeland as the headline attraction, clinching the WBO interim super welterweight title at the Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney.
Tszyu’s manager Glen Jennings speaks exclusively to ProBox TV News as his charge goes in search of super welterweight supremacy.
“We have been in our fifth year with Tim, it’s been a great little journey.” Jennings said of the story so far. “We set out early to keep him very busy and get his numbers up. We went to a lot of regional places here in Australia. Tim’s pay-per-view numbers reflect all those places that we went to earlier in his career. It has been a ground-up-build with him and he has enjoined the process. Today we sit on the cusp of becoming undisputed as soon as Jermell Charlo is ready and his hand has repaired.”
The Australian superstar’s chance at becoming world champion lay in the hands of the undisputed king Jermell Charlo. An injury to the American has seen a bout between the pair fall through since the turn of the year. However, Tszyu and his team will not sit around and allow their star attraction to become stale.
“One thing I will say about how we do business in Australia is that we won’t sit around and wait for these guys to get over whatever their particular problem is.” Jennings stated firmly. “Right now we are just about to finalise another fight for Tim here in Australia, whilst we wait for Charlo. Things are moving along with Charlo in the right direction, but it looks likely that will be in October in the United States. We are not going to wait, so we will do another fight in the next couple of months.”
“If we do fight in October [against Charlo] it would have been 12 months since we started preparing for that fight. We were due to fight him in January. We started our camp in November and flew out to the United States and did the best part of 11 weeks. Then we got the call that Charlo cancelled on Christmas Day.
“6am I got the call that day, a thrill to get that call on Christmas Day.” Jennings sarcastically continued. “Things were going along beautifully. We were so on track. But we very quickly sat down that day and Charlo wasn’t a thought for us at that moment, we had to get something done very quickly. That very same day Tony Harrison came out and said ‘I will take that fight.’ We got Tony sorted and Tim took care of him.”
A catchweight contest with fellow Australian Michael Zerafa had been mooted for the summer as Tszyu waits for Charlo to recover. A public fallout between the two sides saw a breakdown in negotiations.
“Michael Zerafa is a guy who has a lot to say, but not a lot to do.” Jennings added. “Whereas Tim has not so much to say, but is always busy and taking care of things. It is an interesting sideline, that’s all it is to us. We gave him an opportunity to fight Tim a couple of years ago now. Look, he chose not to fight him, that’s history now. He pulled out before, a week or ten days before the fight. We move on very quickly, one thing I have learnt from this industry is that you have to spend your time on the quality stuff and just keep moving.
“Moving on to Charlo again. We asked them to prove that injury and they did. We understand that injuries happen, but that happened in December. We are now in May, that’s six months. I'm not too sure if there are many hands that are not mended in that time in the history of boxing. But clearly they want more time. Rather than jump up and down and turn it into a negative thing, we will just stay busy. We will have Tim’s opponent and venue named in a week to ten days. It will be a good opponent, but we are keeping busy while we wait for Charlo. That is the fight we want, he has all the belts.”