Tim Tszyu has revealed he would be prepared to move up a weight class to fight Canelo Alvarez, as he announced he will fight American Brian Mendoza for the WBO and WBC super-welterweight belts.
‘A name like a Canelo in a possible in the future…that’s something I’ve always dreamed about,’ Tszyu told Main Event TV on Thursday.
Canelo has won multiple world titles in four weight classes from light middleweight to light heavyweight and has unified the titles in three of those weight classes.
Meanwhile, Tszyu will have chance to emulate his legendary father Kostya as a unified world boxing champion after revealing he will take on Mendoza.
The blockbuster bout will take place in Australia on October 15, with promoters still working on a venue.
Tim Tszyu would be prepared to move up a weight class to fight Canelo Alvarez
The Mexican has won multiple world titles in four weight classes from light middleweight to light heavyweight
The undefeated Tszyu (23-0, 17KOs) was to have taken on another American, Jermell Charlo, in Las Vegas this year for undisputed divisional bragging rights before the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO title holder reneged.
Charlo instead opted for a lucrative fight against Mexican pound-for-pound king Canelo on September 30, when he will be formally stripped of his belts and Tszyu elevated from interim to full WBO world champion.
Tszyu, who scored a brutal knockout win over Tony Harrison in Sydney in March to capture the interim title, successfully defended the strap in June on the Gold Coast with an even more impressive stoppage of Mexican Carlos Ocampo.
The 28-year-old believes Mendoza, the WBC interim champion, is more than a worthy opponent for his tilt at following in his father’s famous footsteps.
‘We’re the two top dogs in the division, it’s quite simple,’ Tszyu said at Thursday’s announcement.
‘The other bloke [Charlo], you know what happened. His hand started hurting and he did his little thing. Found that money fight and got the opportunity, which every fighter would take of course.
‘But me and Mendoza are the two next pitbulls in the division. I’ve got the WBO, he’s got the WBC.
Tszyu scored a brutal knockout win over Tony Harrison in Sydney in March to capture the interim WBO title, which he successfully defended against Carlos Ocampo in June
The Australian will fight Brian Mendoza in a unifying bout on October 15
‘We’re both coming off two big, big wins. We’re both on that incline. There’s no decline from neither side so it’s a tremendous challenge and I look forward to taking it with both hands.’
Kostya Tszyu (31-2, 25KOs) first became a unified world champion in 2001 when he beat American Sharmba Mitchell in Las Vegas to add the WBA junior-middleweight belt to his WBC strap.
Mendoza (22-2, 16KOs) will take a power of stopping after blasting out former unified champion Jeison Rosario last November before savagely knocking out the previously unbeaten Sebastian Fundora to capture the WBC interim title.
The 29 year-old from Albuquerque, New Mexico is the toughest opponent Tszyu has faced.
‘I’m expecting a war,’ Tszyu said.
‘He has power in both hands and has shown he thrives off being that underdog, so I doubt coming to Australia will bother him.
‘But don’t expect a single person to be cheering for him.’
The winner will undoubtedly seek an undisputed title fight against Charlo, should the Texan decide to return to the division after stepping up in weight to square off with Alvarez.
Tszyu’s world title defence announcement comes less than 24 hours after his younger brother Nikita improved his professional record to 7-0 with a sixth-round stoppage of countryman Jack Brubaker in Sydney on Wednesday night.
Tszyu was scheduled to fight Jermell Charlo (right), in Las Vegas this year for undisputed divisional bragging rights
Charlo (right) instead opted for a lucrative fight against Canelo on September 30, when he will be formally stripped of his belts
The 25-year-old’s victory prompted the Tszyu brothers’ manager Glen Jennings to predict a third world champion was in the making for Australian boxing’s most successful family.
‘He’s only still learning. [Trainer] Igor [Goloubev] is still uncovering things and working on things with Nikita,’ Jennings said.
‘But in my heart, I believe both boys will be world champions in their time but it’s certainly not a race for us. He’s younger than Tim.
‘So whilst we keep him busy and learning the craft, my personal thoughts are yes he will be a world champion.’