September 30 deadline placed on Tszyu-Charlo mega-fight

·2-min read
Darren England/AAP PHOTOS

Jermell Charlo can dodge Tim Tszyu no more after the WBO ordered the pair to stage their undisputed world title fight by September 30.

Charlo has twice delayed his slated showdown with the unbeaten Australian for the WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF super-welterweight belts after breaking two bones in his left hand last Christmas.

They were initially scheduled to square off in Las Vegas on January 29 and then expected to fight mid-year before the American claimed to have not sufficiently recovered from his injury.

Tszyu (22-0, 16KO) last week questioned Charlo's desire to truly take him on after announcing he would once again place the blockbuster bout in jeopardy by fighting Mexican Carlos Ocampo Ocampo (34-2, 22KO) on the Gold Coast next month.

The 28-year-old son of boxing great Kostya Tszyu scored a ninth-round stoppage win over American Tony Harrison in March to claim the interim WBO title.

Now the stakes have been raised even further for Tszyu, who could potentially beat Ocampo to retain the strap but get injured himself and not be able to meet the WBO's deadline to fight Charlo.

In sanctioning Tszyu's June 18 clash with Ocampo and setting the deadline, the governing body effectively raised the stakes to a winner-takes-all contest.

"The winner must face in his next bout the WBO junior-middleweight champion (Charlo) no later than September 20, 2023," it said in a statement.

"The winner must be available, ready, willing and able."

While acknowledging Tszyu was once again risking everything by fighting Ocampo, the Sydney slayer's promoter George Rose from No Limit Boxing hailed Wednesday's revelation as a major victory.

"It's massive," Rose said.

"It's the news we've been waiting on but again highlights just how big a risk Tim's fight next month on the Gold Coast is.

"If Tim loses, it's over. No Charlo, no undisputed, no nothing.

"After all the waiting and uncertainty, it's crazy to think it's Jermell Charlo who has the advantage.

"He's prepping now and doesn't have a world-class, tough Mexican in Carlos Ocampo trying to take everything away from him.

"Sunday June 18 has just become a whole lot bigger. The stakes couldn't be higher."

Ocampo, who also suddenly stands to be a huge winner out of the WBO's order, is the No.1 ranked super-welterweight out of Mexico.

The 27-year-old's only two career defeats have come in title bouts against pound-for-pound American star Errol Spence Junior and world-rated Mexican Sebatian Fundora.