One of the busiest fighters in 2023 will continue his momentum on October 15 (October 14 in the States) live from Australia. Current interim WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu (23-0 17 KOs) will defend his title against the interim WBC junior middleweight champion Brian Mendoza (22-2, 16 KOS). The word current was used as Tszyu is expected to be the full champion once Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs) enters the ring on September 30 against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) in a fight for the undisputed super middleweight title. This Tszyu fight announcement was made by his verified Instagram account last night into this morning here in the U.S.
It's been a rollercoaster ride for Tszyu, who has been taking fight after fight, waiting for a showdown with Charlo. They were originally supposed to fight in January, but that was postponed due to a Charlo injury. Then they were going to book the fight for the late summer, but Charlo insisted that he needed more time for his hand to heal. Weeks later, an announcement was made that Charlo would fight Canelo and not Tszyu, making the 28-year-old Australian feel a certain way. The WBO stepped in and decided to allow Charlo to walk into his fight, with Canelo holding the title but being immediately stripped once his name was announced, making Tszyu the full champion. That makes this fight between Tszyu and Mendoza for the full WBO title.
Mendoza is coming off of a shocking knockout of the year candidate over Sebastian Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KOs), which earned him the interim title. While the WBC has not mentioned anything about stripping Charlo, if they were to do that, this October showdown between Tszyu and Mendoza could potentially be a unification fight at junior middleweight. Although Showtime hasn’t announced anything, this fight between Tszyu and Mendoza will likely land on their network for us in the States to watch. Tszyu continues a banner year with a third fight, but it’s risky, as Mendoza is known to turn people’s lights out. Who will come out victorious on October 15?