Terence Crawford could be installed as WBO mandatory to Tim Tszyu-Keith Thurman winner, Paco Valcarcel hints

Tim Tszyu has long spoken of his desire to feature in boxing’s biggest fights and that dream appears to have moved one step closer.

The Australian first has to get by Keith Thurman in Las Vegas on March 30 (Mar. 31 in Australia).

Should he be successful, a potential meeting with two-division undisputed world champion Terence Crawford awaits.

MORE: Is Canelo leaving PBC to return to Matchroom?

Here’s what we know:

Terence Crawford in discussions with WBO over super-welterweight title

Crawford currently holds three of the four major belts at welterweight, having stopped Errol Spence to unify the division last July, before later being stripped of the IBF title.

With the WBO, “Bud” has been designated as a “Super Champion.”

As part of that organization’s rules, Super Champions can be installed as mandatory challenger to the WBO champion in the division above or below.

Tszyu currently holds the WBO belt at 154-pounds, having been upgraded from interim champion when Jermell Charlo was stripped of the title for opting to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez rather than defending against the undefeated Sydneysider.

While Tszyu’s belt won’t be on the line when he faces Thurman as the WBO have refused to sanction it as a title fight, a loss would certainly hurt his stocks and, according to Paco Valcarcel, see him miss out on a possible date with Crawford.

Speaking to Fight Hype, the WBO president was asked his thoughts on next month’s PBC on Prime pay-per-view.

“That will be a tough fight for Tszyu because Thurman can fight,” Valcarcel said.

“On paper, you have to pick Tszyu, but in boxing, anything can happen

“The winner of that fight will have a tough cookie for his next mandatory.”

Valcercel went on to say Crawford would be visiting WBO headquarters in Puerto Rico this week and suggested something significant could be in the works.

“I can tell you, Crawford will be here next week,” he said.

“I’m not authorised to explain [to] you, make it public, but I have been talking to Crawford for long now.

“This is the first [interview] I’ve talked to about Crawford and the possibility of moving to 154[lb].”

Tim Tszyu

(No Limit Boxing)

Crawford’s trainer likes Tszyu match-up

Valcarcel’s comments follow those made by a member of Crawford’s team in an interview last month.

Speaking on MillCity Boxing, trainer Bernie Davis said a fight with Tszyu the frontrunner for the undefeated 36-year-old’s return to the ring.

“I think Tszyu will be the right one since we can’t get Spence,” Davis said.

“We want to move up and still make history, still have something to get up for and even though ‘Boots’ is an attractive option, I think Tszyu just edges him a little bit. 

“I think Tszyu fought the better competition, I think he’s been looking more spectacular in his fights and he got the country [Australia] behind him.

“Plus, he has something that we want. It’s another weight class to jump and it’s another something to aspire to. 

“So that’s where I would think we would land.”

Is Tim Tszyu vs. Keith Thurman for the WBO super welterweight world title?

Tszyu will not be defending his WBO super welterweight title when he faces Thurman in March.

The Australian became interim champion when he defeated Tony Harrison last March, before defending the strap against Carlos Ocampo and Brian Mendoza.

He had been preparing to face Erickson Lubin in American before the Thurman opportunity came up.

The WBO have however refused to sanction it as a world title fight, presumably given Thurman wasn’t rated in their top 15 at the weight, as per the organization’s rules.

Thurman hasn’t fought above welterweight in over a decade and has only competed once since mid-2019, defeating Mario Barrios in February of 2022.

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