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Charlo suffers broken hand, showdown with Tszyu postponed


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Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Undisputed world super-welterweight boxing champion Jermell Charlo suffered a broken left hand in training and his January showdown with unbeaten Australian Tim Tszyu has been postponed, promoters announced Saturday.

The matchup, which had been set for January 28 at Las Vegas, would have been the first time Charlo defended all four major sanctioning body world crowns after unifying them in May by knocking out Argentina's Brian Castano.

Charlo broke his left hand in two places, between the pinkie and ring fingers and at the base of the thumb, on Tuesday after landing a punch in sparring at his gym in Houston.

The 32-year-old American visited two doctors and a hand specialist in Houston and his hand was placed in a cast, where it will stay for the next two months. Only then will Charlo begin rehabilitation of the injury, which he must complete before he can resume training for a fight.

"I was sparring and I threw this nice punch and as soon as it landed, I knew something was wrong," Charlo said. "I felt my hand throbbing right away.

"I had two X-rays and an MRI to see what was wrong. It showed it was broken in two places. I hate this feeling. My hand will be in a cast for two months. I’m as disappointed as the fans, maybe more, because this was my first chance to defend the undisputed title."

Tszyu, the son of former light welterweight world champion Kostya Tszyu, indicated he would fight a mandatory rival while waiting for Charlo to become healthy once more.

"I'm very disappointed," Tszyu said. "I felt like the stars aligned for undisputed... but we move on. I'm ready to take on the next mandatory challenger. I'll be back for Charlo once he is ready and healed."

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Tim Tszyu to face Tony Harrison for interim title on March 12

By Mike Coppinger, ESPN

Tim Tszyu will fight Tony Harrison for the WBO junior middleweight interim title on March 12 in Australia, it was announced on Sunday.

The site and city were not disclosed, but the fight will take place on that Sunday afternoon in Australia and be televised in prime time in the United States on Saturday night.

Tszyu, an Australian star and son of Hall of Fame boxer Kostya Tszyu, was set to challenge Jermell Charlo for the undisputed championship at 154 pounds on Saturday before the American fighter withdrew because of a broken left hand.

Now, Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs) will take on his toughest test yet, and if he emerges victorious, will face Charlo later this year for all four junior middleweight titles once he is medically cleared. If Charlo isn't able to defend his WBO title in the time period set forth by the Puerto Rico-based organization, he will be stripped, and the interim champion will be elevated.

Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs) rebounded in April with a wide-points victory over Sergio Garcia, his first win since December 2018, when he upset Charlo via controversial unanimous decision.

The 32-year-old from Detroit is a crafty boxer but has been stopped in each of his losses, including a 11th-round KO in the December 2019 title rematch with Charlo. Harrison was surprisingly held to a draw against fringe contender Bryant Perrella in April 2021 and is rated No. 1 at 154 pounds, one spot behind Tszyu.

If Harrison can pull off the upset, he'll earn a third crack at Charlo.

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