Aussie boxing superstar Tim Tszyu's world title hopes have been dealt a brutal blow after a series of savage comments from American champion, Jermell Charlo.
Tszyu is busy preparing for his July 7 bout with compatriot Michael Zerafa in Newcastle, with the 26-year-old making no secret about his desire for a world title fight against the likes of Charlo or Argentine Brian Castano - whom the American fights in New York on July 17.
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If Charlo beats Castano in that fight he will have unified the light middleweight division by adding the WBO belt to his WBA, WBC and IBF straps.
Tszyu has so far beaten all before him in Australia - patiently biding his time for an opportunity to test his mettle against a boxer of the calibre of Charlo and emulate his famous father Kostya by becoming a world champion.
The 26-year-old is chomping at the bit to get a shot at the division's international superstars after seeing off a string of Australian rivals during his rapid rise to prominence.
However, Charlo has delivered a shattering blow to Tszyu's dream of a potential showdown by claiming he may never give the Aussie an opportunity to fight him.
Despite reports Tszyu's camp from No Limit Boxing are open to the idea of shelling out $10 million to bring the American to Australia, Charlo insists the 26-year-old is not even close to being at his level.
"Listen, look nobody ever send me no 10-million contract or none of that. First off Tim 'Kostya' Tszyu is not on a level to even fight for a world title," Charlo said on his Ringside with the Lions YouTube page.
"He ain't even on the level to fight some of the guys that I've knocked the f*** 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.
"Ten million sounds great, yes. I would love to take that, but Tim, sorry big homie, you ain't getting that chance to fight Charlo cause Charlo got some other plans.
"I'm the champ. I'm the unified champ. I'm going to be the undisputed champ."
Aussie questions Charlo's quality
Tszyu said he'd been equally underwhelmed watching Charlo's fights.
"There's a few other styles that could be tougher. I don't rate Charlo as high as he is right now," Tszyu said on the new episode of The Main Event Boxing Podcast.
"He's never in total control of a fight. He's got power which is very lucky."
Tszyu ranks Jarrett Hurd, Magomedov Kurbanov, Tony Harrison and Jeison Rosario above Charlo.
But he does expect Charlo to beat Castano by decision in their July unification bout.
Tszyu also welcomes reports that former champ Danny Garcia is stepping up to super welterweight, saying: "I've got him the bag."
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