TIMING is everything for Team Tszyu.
There’s little doubt that the career of Tim Tszyu is in it’s infancy right now but after winning his first eleven bouts, the youngster from Sydney has been under pressure to step things up. Enter, Michael Zerafa.
The Commonwealth and WBA Oceania light middleweight titleholder may have shut down speculation about a potential Tszyu showdown in the past, but all that changed just days ago when he called out his younger rival in a move that came as a surprise to Tszyu’s manager, Glen Jennings.
“It was interesting; almost a pleasant surprise. For some time now, Michael has said no on a couple of occasions – both on TV and on radio – about a Tim Tszyu fight so it was out of the blue, a bit unexpected but an interesting turn of events,” Jennings told Aus-Boxing.
It’s clear in speaking with Jennings that he’s a man with a plan and his team have spent a lot of time mapping out their fighter’s future progression.
A fight with Zerafa is something Jennings welcomes but he also cautions that the timing must be right for Tim.
“The issue is not so much whether Tim is ready, it becomes somewhat of a piece in a very large puzzle,” Jennings said.
“I don’t think there are any good teams with prospect fighters who sit around without anything to do.
“We’ve moved ahead with Tim’s roadmap and planning and whilst March 1st (against Zerafa) may work, it’s now got to go into a puzzle and see whether or not it even fits into the plans for 2019.
“We do have options overseas that we’re looking at and negotiating right now.
“It’s an interesting time, there’s a lot going on and when something comes out of the blue and whilst its essentially a nice opportunity, it’s now up to me to work out whether or not we can make that happen in the time frame we’re talking about.”
Zerafa would undoubtedly be the biggest name on the resume of Tszyu should the fight go ahead and Jenning’s is quick to point out that his team respects the accomplishments of the Victorian.
“He’s a good fighter, we have a lot of respect for Michael. He’s ranked where he is because he’s done the hard work,” he added.
“It would be a great fight, we don’t have any doubt about that.”
Team Tszyu may respect the career of Zerafa but when asked if Tim has the necessary tools to defeat his more experienced foe, Jennings was steadfast in his reply.
“Absolutely, very confident,” states Jennings.
“Tim is still, in some respects, in his rookie phase. But having said that, you cant continue to move forward in this game unless you take on opponents that are going to give you an opportunity to grow in the sport.
“Sooner or later Tim will have to step up to these challenges, and Michael is one of them.
“There’s a few good boys in Australia that we would like to eventually get an opportunity at and Michael has now come out and said that he’d like that fight. Given the chance and the timing, if we can make it happen, that’s something as a group that we will have a look at.”
Whether or not the timing for this bout is right, there’s little doubt it would be one of the best domestic matchups in the sport of boxing in Australia right now and one the fans will undoubtedly clamour for.
Lets hope we get to see a fight between Tszyu and Zerafa sooner rather than later.
Words: Dan Attias/Follow Dan on Twitter