The man seemingly standing in Tim Tszyu’s path to a world title has trashed the Aussie’s current prospects of challenging for his belt.
Brian Castano, who had a controversial draw with Jermell Charlo in their unification bout last month, has slammed Tszyu and his team for playing a “dirty trick” as speculation firms that the Aussie and the Argentine will face off for the WBO super welterweight crown.
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Following the draw, Charlo was ordered into a mandatory IBF title defence against Russia’s Bakhram Murtazaliev while Castano is meant to defend the belt against the mandatory challenger — in this case Tszyu — by November 13.
But in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Castano has dismissed Tszyu, who has been stuck in Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic.
With dominant wins over Jeff Horn, Bowyn Morgan, Dennis Hogan and Stevie Spark, Tszyu has essentially cleared out the Australian market and is desperate to try his hand overseas.
While Tszyu has called out Brit Liam Smith, Danny Garcia and American Tony Harrison, he’s yet to try his hand on the big stage against former world champs other than Horn.
And it’s for this reason that Castano said Tszyu isn’t ready for him.
Tim Tszyu knows he’s already done everything in Australia.Source:Getty Images
Speaking to ESPN’s Max Kellerman last week, Castano dismissed Tszyu’s work so far, despite the 19-0 start.
“Tim Tszyu is a good fighter, but I need a better fighter,” Castano said. “I respect his career, but he needs more fights. He needs more experience and to fight other opponents.
“I need the fight here, not in Australia. Why he’s not coming here? I need the fight here, the people watch me, and they know me here in the USA. My work is here in the USA.”
But Tszyu hit back at the comments saying: “He can run all he wants but he can’t hide — Once I’m mandatory, he’s going to have no choice but to fight me.”
And it wouldn’t be boxing if Castano didn’t volley back.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Castano called his comments “a joke”.
“I never run from anybody, if you look at my resume I went to France, I went to America which is not my original country, so that’s a joke,” Castano said.
“It’s a joke from Tszyu that speaks for itself.
“On the contrary, he is the one hiding in Australia and never wants to get out of Australia.
“To be calling out everyone in my division, he should come to America which is the mecca of boxing, everybody knows this. America is the place he needs to show what he’s really made of.
“Tszyu never gets out of Australia.”
Brian Castano was unlucky not to be the unified world champ.Source:AFP
One thing that was thought to attract a world title fight to Australia was a $10 million bid by Tszyu’s promoters No Limit Boxing, but it doesn’t seem to have worked so far.
Charlo, who has the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, rejected him out of hand in May.
“First off, Tim ‘Kostya’ Tszyu is not on a level to even fight for a world title,” Charlo said, during a fan Q&A on his personal YouTube channel.
“He ain’t even on the level to fight some of the guys that I’ve knocked the f**k out of and he ain’t even going to get no chance to fight me, probably throughout my career. I’m just being honest with you.”
And now Castano has agreed that he’d be happy to take the money and beat Tszyu in Australia, saying “If they have the $10 million, I will go to Australia swimming from Argentina and beat him in his own backyard, then take a flight back”.
Tim Tszyu has a scary highlight reel.Source:Getty Images
But Castano’s manager Sebastian Contursi told News Corp that Tszyu’s team had put the champ’s nose out of joint when No Limit tried to steal a title fight with Patrick Teixeira, who Castano beat for the WBO belt, when Teixeira struggled to obtain a visa to enter the US.
“They’ve been playing dirty tricks since last year because everybody knew at the time Patrick Teixeira, the Brazilian, had some issues to obtain his visa to enter the US,” Contursi said.
“The fight between Brian and Teixeira was scheduled for April originally, it was postponed but it was always in place.
“I know for a fact these people sent letters to the WBO trying to take Teixeira to Australia to face Tim Tszyu and taking Brian out of the way. That was the first dirty trick they played.
“Then after Brian finally beat Teixeira for the WBO world title, they started publishing all over the world in the media that they were offering $10 million to Charlo or Castano to go to Australia. They didn’t clarify or mention Australian dollars or American dollars, but everybody understood that $10 million was the purse they were offering for either Charlo or Castano.”
While Tszyu would love the title shot, his next fight is firming as American Tony Harrison with No Limit Boxing set for a three-day extravaganza featuring the likes of Steve Spark, Lenny Zappavigna, Liam Wilson and Mateo Tapia, as well as Paul Gallen and Darcy Lussick facing off.
But Tszyu will be the main event, it only depends on who he’ll be facing.
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