Tim Tszyu will be fighting Vergil Ortiz Jr. for the WBA interim junior middleweight title on August 3rd, with the winner to be mandatory for the Terence Crawford vs. Israil Madrimov Victor on the same card at the BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

Potential Roadblock: Jermell Charlo

WBA 154-lb ‘Champion in recess’ Jermell Charlo could potentially get the fights against the Crawford-Madrimov winner ahead of the Tszyu-Ortiz Jr. winner, which is the most likely scenario to play out.

Jermell (35-2-1, 19 KOs) reportedly wants the Crawford fight, as that’s his best option for another significant payday at this stage of his career after his lackluster performance last September in his loss to Canelo Alvarez.

If the Saudis are involved, Jermell can make big money fighting Crawford. However, if Madrimov is victorious against Crawford, it’s questionable whether Jermell would be interested in using his WBA ‘Champion in recess’ spot to force a fight against him, unless His Excellency Turki Alalshikh was interested in placing a fight between them on one of his cards.

The ‘Champion in Recess’ Problem

It would look bad for Jermell to emerge from a year-long hibernation to get the winner of the Crawford vs. Madrimov fight ahead of the more active Tszyu vs. Ortiz Jr. winner, but it might end up that way if Charlo uses his WBA ‘Champion in Recess’ spot to force the fight.

Ideally, the sanctioning bodies should abolish the pampered ‘Champion in recess’ designation, as that allows ex-champions to be given a straight title shot over more deserving contenders.

It’s basically a popularity/business-level thing where the sanctioning bodies give ex-champions a shot at their old belts because of them being well-known, and it’s unfair to the rising talent trying to get their opportunities.

The Right Way for Charlo

It would make sense for Jermell Charlo to get a shot at his old WBA junior middleweight belt if he beat one of the contenders like Xander Zayas, Erickson Lubin, or Errol Spence Jr. That’s not happening, though.

Jermell will get a straight shot if he chooses to use his WBA Champion in Recess. He is coming off a one-sided loss to Canelo Alvarez and a year-long layoff.

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