The boxing world is on the edge of its seat. In the thrilling arena of super welterweight boxing, Tim Tszyu is preparing for an electrifying match against America’s Brian Mendoza, a contest that promises to set the ring ablaze. Labelling their impending face-off as potentially “the fireworks fight of the division,” Tszyu’s declaration gives a clear indication of the heightened stakes and buzz surrounding this match.
Recently crowned as the WBO super welterweight champion, the unyielding spirit and energy around Tszyu show no signs of abating. Barely a week into his reign, and he’s already focusing his energies on his first defence. Amongst a pool of capable fighters, Mendoza, with his title of WBC interim champion, emerges as Tszyu’s prime pick. This choice resonates with the boxing community, especially when considering Mendoza’s reputation, reinforced by his jaw-dropping finish against Sebastian Fundora and an earlier decisive triumph against Jeison Rosaria.
For Tszyu, his ambitions are both clear-cut and grandiose. He’s not merely eyeing dominance in the super welterweight category. By 2024, he envisions himself as the indomitable face of world boxing, challenging stalwarts such as Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford, and Errol Spence Jnr. Yet, these larger-than-life dreams have a grounding element—his immediate challenge of a successful title defence as the newly crowned WBO world champion.
When discussing the dynamics of the boxing world, Tszyu holds nothing back. In his conversation with Fox Sports Australia, he expressed strong sentiments about the WBO’s decision to strip Jermell Charlo. “Because when you do the wrong thing like he has, you deserve to be stripped,” was Tszyu’s candid opinion, recalling the two occasions when he was set to face Charlo. His appreciation for the WBO’s actions was evident: “I’m glad the WBO went and did the right thing.” He emphasised that his journey to the championship wasn’t a walk in the park. “I won the interim title from a guy like Tony Harrison … so nothing has been just given to me.”
While the future might still hold a Tszyu-Charlo bout, for now, Tszyu’s gaze is firmly set on Mendoza. Mendoza’s spectacular knockout of Fundora—marked by a devastating left hook swiftly followed by an overhand right—did more than etch him into the 2023 Knockout of the Year talks; it painted a giant target on his back, drawing Tszyu’s attention.
Tszyu’s analysis of Mendoza offers insights into his strategy. “He’s the WBC interim champion, sharp and slippery, throws unorthodox punches. Boasts highlight reel knockouts,” he mused. Matching up their recent stellar performances, Tszyu is convinced that theirs is the fight the division, and the fans, are eagerly awaiting.
Recognizing Mendoza’s undeniable prowess, Tszyu doesn’t shy away from acknowledging the challenge ahead. “For sure. And my biggest challenge to date.” He dissected Mendoza’s KO of Fundora, commenting on the impeccable timing and a slight lapse in Fundora’s guard.
While Tszyu respects the trajectory of Mendoza’s career, he’s clear about not getting swayed by sentiments. “I respect every fighter who gets into the ring,” he says, offering a glimpse into his unwavering mindset. “I’m not the type of guy who gives out kisses, hugs, or appreciation posts.” If their fight does materialise, Tszyu knows that he cannot afford a momentary lapse. “I’ll have to work on staying sharp for the whole 12 rounds.”
Diehard fans might recall the tremors Mendoza sent through the boxing community in April. His bout against Fundora in the Showtime main event was an unforgettable display of skill and tenacity. Two potent punches sealed the deal for Mendoza, stunning spectators and experts alike. And although the ringside judges seemed to favour Fundora, Mendoza’s unmatched power rendered their scores irrelevant.
Further solidifying his formidable reputation, Mendoza delivered a crushing defeat to Rosario with a knockout uppercut in a prior bout.
The boxing community is in for a treat. As Tszyu primes himself for what could be the hallmark of his career, the fusion of skill, strategy, and raw power from both fighters promises aficionados a match that will go down in boxing history. The anticipation is palpable, and the clock is ticking. The ring awaits!