Tim Tszyu has made a mental note of all the barbs thrown at him by Brian Castano.
Like the one about the Australian not being worthy to contest for his world title, or that he’s too inexperienced, or that he is too afraid to face him anywhere but on home soil.
“Yeah, once I start smacking him in the face he’s going to regret his words, I guess,” Tszyu said.
Tszyu has a guaranteed shot at a world title after the WBO ruled he is the mandatory challenger for Castano’s super welterweight belt. But rather than waiting for his chance to fight the Argentinian world champion – who has belittled him in numerous interviews – Tszyu will put his unbeaten record at risk against Takeshi Inoue at Qudos Bank Arena on November 17.
Inoue is Tszyu’s most credentialled opponent to date, ranked seventh in the world by the WBO. The Japanese fighter has lost just one of his 19 fights and appears the perfect tune-up fight before the son of hall-of-famer Kostya turns his attention to Castano.
“That’s the thing. He’s on mandatory now, so he’s got no choice but to fight me,” Tszyu said.
Tim Tszyu is closing in on his world title shot.Credit:Nine
Castano was involved in a controversial split-decision draw in what was dubbed a unification title bout against WBA, WBC and IBF champion Jermell Charlo.
Most commentators felt Castano had done enough to earn a points decision, however the result means the fighters keep their respective belts.
“Look, Castano, he’s going to be a tough challenge,” Tszyu said.
Tim Tszyu doesn’t rate Jermell Charlo, pictured, but respects Brian Castano.Credit:Getty
“Charlo, I don’t rate Charlo. I never did. To fight for all the belts, you know what? I’d prefer winning each belt one by one, just like Canelo Alvarez did. You get to take out every champion and everyone that’s in the division instead of just one.
“So we’ll see how it goes.
“Castano is a tough competitor. He’s awkward, he’s tough. And Charlo’s just over-rated. Charlo’s just in a world of his own.
“I thought Charlo was going to win, but in my eyes I think Castano won that fight.”
Team Tszyu has stated its desire to bring the Castano fight to Australia, although the 26-year-old is prepared to fight overseas to fulfil his world title ambitions. Regardless of where he faces Castano, Tszyu knows he will have to counter the Argentine’s strengths.
“His pressure and his awkwardness; he’s only small and he always makes it into his fight, so the aim is to make his fight into my fight,” Tszyu said.
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