Jermell Charlo is ready for his first defense as undisputed super welterweight champion. Charlo is set to face Tim Tszyu on Jan. 28, in Las Vegas, Nevada, setting up the first big fight announced for 2023. The bout will air live on Showtime.
Tszyu (21-0, 15 KO) is the son of former undisputed junior welterweight world champion Kostya Tszyu and has built a strong following in his native Australia. After rattling off 20 wins to start his career, Tszyu made a step up in competition in his most recent outing, facing Terrell Gausha in March.
That fight nearly turned out to be a disaster for Tszyu when Gausha scored a knockdown in the opening round. Tszyu was able to recover and use his aggression and trademark body punching to work his way to a unanimous decision victory by scores of 114-113, 116-111 and 115-112.
Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KO) cruised through the early part of his career as he and twin brother Jermall both became world champions by 2016, when Jermell defeated John Jackson to win the WBC super welterweight title. Four fights later, Charlo dropped that title when he lost a controversial unanimous decision to Tony Harrison but came back in December 2019 to score an 11th round TKO of Harrison and regain the belt.
“I’m excited to be back in the ring to defend my undisputed crown,” Charlo said in a press release. “I’m thankful for everything I’ve accomplished, but the battle isn’t over. Tim Tszyu is a young, hungry, aggressive fighter but I’m a pound-for-pound great. I reign as the undisputed champion and if anyone wants a shot at the crown, they gotta 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 plan to light up Las Vegas and show the world that I’m the most dangerous fighter in the sport, regardless of division.”
A knockout of Jeison Rosario added the WBA and IBF titles to Charlo’s collection before he met Brian Castano in a showdown for undisputed status. Their July 2021 clash produced one of the best fights of the year before ending in a split draw and the rematch this past May was even better, ending when Charlo knocked out Castano in Round 10.