2 minutes read

Tim Tszyu To Lose WBO Title In Scenario Of Improbable Loss To Thurman, Crawford Might Emerge As Mandatory Opponent In Case Of Win

Tim Tszyu To Lose WBO Title In Scenario Of Improbable Loss To Thurman featured image
Tim Tszyu faces the prospect of being stripped if he loses to Keith Thurman on March 30th, while Terence Crawford may become Tszyu's next mandatory challenger if he makes it past Thurman. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Tim Tszyu may lose his WBO super welterweight title if he suffers an unlikely loss to Keith Thurman on March 30th, as the WBO’s rules have stipulated. With Tszyu facing Thurman in a bout that the WBO refused to sanction, the WBO title could forcibly relinquish the Tszyu’s belt if the Australian fighter incurs a loss to the unranked Thurman.

With Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KO’s) having remained absent from the ring for approximately two years since his win over Mario Barrios (28-2, 18 KO’s) on February 5th, 2022, Tim Tszyu’s (24-0, 17 KO’s) decision to face Thurman has come paired with several consequences; including the potential forfeiture of his title if he loses to the American former welterweight champion.

Section 15.D of the WBO’s rules and/or regulations stipulates this can occur due to the Tszyu-Thurman not having been sanctioned by the WBO, thereby withdrawing the possibility for Tszyu to defend his WBO belt on March 30th.

Tim Tszyu To Lose WBO Title In Scenario Of Improbable Loss To Thurman image 1
WBO section 15 (Non-championship fights or non-WBO, championship fights), sub-section D dictating the terms of the possible forfeiture of a WBO world champion’s title.

While the Tszyu will be allowed to keep his WBO 154 lbs belt for his fight with Thurman, the repercussions for Tszyu’s decision does not only pertain to if he loses, but also if he wins. As sub-section 15.B states, Tim Tszyu may be ordered to face mandatory challenger for his next match, regardless of whether he has fulfilled his mandatory duties prior to Thurman.

Tim Tszyu To Lose WBO Title In Scenario Of Improbable Loss To Thurman image 2
Sub-section 15.B dictating a WBO champion might be issued an order to face a mandatory challenger due to prior participation in an unsanctioned non-title bout.

Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KO’s) is now regarded as the most likely recipient of the mandatory challenger status. As a WBO ‘super champion’, Crawford has the right to move up or down from the welterweight division and challenge any WBO champion at another weight. Given talks between the teams of Crawford and Tszyu have already been confirmed to have taken place this year, it is therefore within the realm of possibility that the two fighters could be ordered by the WBO to face each other.

Crawford himself hinted at the possibility of a fight with Tszyu during his recent attendance to a WBO-organized event where he featured as one of the event’s esteemed guests.

Well, we shall see,Crawford said when asked on whether he’d face Tszyu in the near future. “Tim Tszyu got a tough fight with Keith Thurman. Hopefully, after that fight we can see the next move but like I said; we’ve got a few guys on the roster for Terence Crawford’s next fight, and Tim Tszyu/Keith Thurman is one of them.