Tim Tszyu’s hopes of fighting for a world title in early 2021 have been dashed after WBO super welterweight champion Patrick Teixeira was granted entry to the US for his title defence against Brian Castano in California on February 13.
The WBO recently announced that if a fight between Teixeira and Castano did not go ahead by January 6, then Tszyu, with victory over Kiwi Bowyn Morgan last week, would earn the right to fight for the title against Castano, relegating the Brazilian champion to No.1 contender.
Teixeira had been stuck in his native Brazil as COVID-19 restrictions stopped him from leaving the country and as a result, had been unable to set up a much anticipated fight with Castano.
Teixeira was mandated to face the Argentine on a Golden Boy card in late April but the fight was called off due to the pandemic.
Most within boxing circles expected Teixeira to be stripped of his belt within days, doubting the Brazilian’s chances of making the deadline, but it seems the fight will proceed.
The news comes as a blow for the Australian and his promoters but it could open the door for another local fighter to get a shot at Tszyu, while he waits to see who wins out of Teixeira and Castano.
It would no doubt be another tune-up fight, with the Sydney fighter in no place to be taking risks with a world title shot in sight.
Following his first round domination of Morgan, Tszyu seemed confident that a world title wasn’t far down the road.
“Do you guys know what’s next? That’s the world title, here, in Sydney, Australia,” Tszyu declared after the win, to a chorus of cheers. “Let’s make it 10 times the size of this. Australia deserves it.”
Tszyu’s team had previously been in discussions to act as a co-support for the yet-to-be-finalised bout between lineal lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez and Australian unbeaten mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr.
Lopez and Kambosos Jr had been pencilled in for April next year, with Sydney and Melbourne in pursuit of hosting duties.
Promoters were hoping to get a Tszyu-Castano world title fight on the same card in what would have been one of the biggest fight nights in Australian history.
But that will have to wait now for Tszyu.