WHILE TIM TSZYU CONTINUES TO FORGE HIS OWN IDENTITY HE CAN’T ESCAPE THE FACT he’s following in the footsteps of one of Australia’s greatest ever boxers – his father Kostya. It extends beyond just the surname, the uncanny resemblance and the fact he’s taken up the sport of boxing.
When the sun sets on the career of Tim the history books will show that Toowoomba played a big role in the early development of both Kostya and Tim. When Kostya first arrived in Australia in the early nineties – his first opponent was a former Olympian and Queensland superlight weight champion named Darrell Hiles from Toowoomba.
Hiles was seven wins and one loss when he met debutant Kostya Tszyu on the first of March 1992. Considering Hiles stature in Australian boxing it was a stern test for a raw Russian who had arrived in Australia with no professional experience.
The history books show Tszyu won in spectacular fashion with a TKO 1.10 into round one. It was this bout that announced Kostya Tszyu as a future star.
Fast forward 25 years and now its Tim’s turn to leave his mark on the city of Toowoomba. Tim, now 5-0 as a pro faces Townsville’s Chris Khan on the TGW & Smithy Brings the Big Fights 17 card on July 22.
This is Tim’s turn to leave an imprint on Toowoomba like his dad did in 1992 when he defeated one of the Garden City’s top boxers Darrell Hiles.
Like his father, Tim has been ear marked for greatness. In Just five bouts since turning pro in December last year he’s been touted as a World Champion in the making.
However like his dad did Tim needs to pass his ‘Toowoomba test’ first.
“I’m looking forward to it, I’ve never been to Toowoomba actually so I’m very excited,” Tim Tszyu said.
“I hope I can get some home crowd support and everyone cheers me on.
“Every fight is exciting and you can’t take any fight lightly, it’s step by step and my next step is Toowoomba so I’m looking forward to it.
“At the start of the career it’s good to use the name, it helps get me on cards around Australia but now people are starting to recognise me not as Kostya Tszyu’s son but as Tim Tszyu because I’m the one that’s getting in there and getting the victories – everything’s going to plan.”
Chris Khan and his trainer Greg Hooper are well aware of the hype around Tim Tszyu, however they’re not fazed and like their chances on July 22.
“We took this fight because Tim hasn’t really fought anyone with any experience,” Greg Hooper said.
“He’s gone seventeen rounds in five fights.
“Chris has gone thirteen rounds in three fights and against a far better class of opponent where Tim’s opponents have been hand picked to give him experience without testing him.
“He isn’t his father so we’re coming down there with the intention of beating him.
“Chris had a few years out of the ring following the birth of his son, we’ve had three bouts tentatively locked in only for the opponent to withdraw.
“We respect Tim for taking this bout however he’s going to find out Chris is too hard for him.
“This is the only way Chris will get noticed.
“Chris has a great chin and reasonable power.
“He will blow Tim away in the later rounds after he feels a real punch from a real fighter.”
Chris Khan added.
“Tim is standing between me and a shot at a title belt so Tim will have to go.
“Others won’t fight me so when I get into the ring against Tim I will be showing that I have the goods and they will have to take notice of me.
“Tim is just unlucky – he’s in the way of my dream so he has to go.”
In response Tim Tszyu was happy to ‘let him talk.’
“Let him talk – everyone can talk the talk, walking the walk is a different thing, let him say what he wants but I hope he comes to fight because I’m here to fight and I’m hear to beat him,” Tszyu said
“As long as he’s there, he’s trained hard and he’s ready – let’s get it on.”