Tim Tszyu has emerged from his father’s shadow and, confident he can challenge for a world title, now wants to do something even Kostya never managed by fighting in Russia.
The 25-year-old was emphatic in stopping former world champion Jeff Horn after eight rounds at Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Wednesday night.
He soaked up the arena’s atmosphere, matched Horn’s power and countering it with superior fitness, speed and precision in a classy, comprehensive victory that answered all the pre-fight queries about his readiness to step up.
His 16th straight win was one co-promoter Matt Rose dubbed the arrival of the “new face of Australian boxing”, Tszyu stressing that it wasn’t his surname that had earned him the victory.
“People will always compare me to my dad, and what he did was truly out of this world,” Tszyu said.
“He was an undisputed world champion for ten years; for someone to do that is beyond crazy.
“I will always float around as the son of Kostya, but I wanted to say this is Tim Tszyu who beat Jeff Horn and it wasn’t the son, it wasn’t because of my last name.
“It was purely the fact I trained hard and got the victory … hopefully I introduced myself with that performance.”
Horn rates Tszyu a future world champion and his team are keen to lock in fights in Russia, where father Kostya has returned to live and Tim himself enjoys a strong following.
“We have been working on something in the background but we have to look at the current pandemic that exists,” Rose said.
“It (Wednesday’s fight) went crazy in Russia, they love him there and Timmy is ready for the world but we have to get past this pandemic and then show the world who Timmy Tszyu is.”
In the meantime a return to Townsville could be on the cards, Sydney-based Tszyu raving about his week in north Queensland and promising to toast his victory with a McDonald’s burger on the way home.
A return could come as soon as this year, Tszyu declaring he “felt fine” after defending his WBO Global and Australian IBF super welterweight belts.
“Straight from Round 1, once he got tired I felt he was going downhill,” a fresh-looking Tszyu said.
“I knocked him down twice; my fitness was on another level and I felt it.
“I do four minute rounds during training and a 30-second rest (compared to three minute rounds and one minute rest).
“(During the fight) in the minute break halfway through I was getting ready to get up.
“What won in this fight … wasn’t my boxing skills, it was my fitness and how conditioned I was.”