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Tim Tszyu Is His Own Man Walking His Own Path Under The Bright Lights Of Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS – Tim Tszyu has shone under the neon lights of Sin City this week. 

Australia’s super lightweight champion has performed all of his fight week obligations not just with a smile but with a spring in his step. 

“Look, I’m a young kid living the dream,” he said. “I’m 29 years young and my face is all over the MGM Grand. How can you not enjoy it?”

Then, he thought back to the start of his journey and how different it was then, juxtaposed to what it has become. 

“I started off at a small show at the SCG [Sydney Cricket Ground] then we were in Daltone House, and I remember my pay was $1,500 (Australian) for that fight and six years later, we’re here at the MGM Grand,” he smiled, with a shake of the head. “It’s taken time, it’s taken years of hard work. I haven’t just been gifted it.”

Tszyu talked about how he used a psychological coach for support as part of his team, and talked about how that had changed him over time.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is to always control your emotions, don’t let things get to you,” said Tszyu. “Before I used to, even with things like this, get a bit nervous. I woke up today and I was like, ‘Press conference today. Sweet.’ It’s a big buzz here.”

Then, during some of the customary fight week questions, Tszyu was asked about whether big fights would take place for him in the USA from here on out, or if he still planned stadium shows or big nights back at home. Undoubtedly, he said, he will be boxing in America.

“For sure,” Tszyu stated. “I think my future is here. I think the public’s really got behind us and I think all the [Australian] journalists like a holiday, too!”

This week, Tszyu has discussed possible next steps, while insisting he is not taking his eye off the ball against giant Sebastian Fundora when they fight at the T-Mobile in Las Vegas later today. But it is now a two-way thing. Tszyu is not the one who has to make the noise, and Errol Spence declared he was coming to town on X and said he had Tszyu in his sights.

“I’ve wanted Errol Spence for a long time, we’ve had back-to-back history, he’s called me a few things. I would like that fight as well,” Tszyu said. 

Describing how it is now being called out by the top fighters rather than having to go after them, he added: “It feels good, and that’s why we went down the path of getting the belts, because they come to you. I was in a position of where I was chasing, chasing, chasing [Jermell] Charlo. Now they’re coming to me. It’s their responsibility to come to me now.”

He also said there was a reason why the top 147-pounders had been reluctant to move up to face him, and it was partly down to size, and also down to glove-size. Welterweights wear 8oz gloves, while super welters wear 10oz. 

“Because there’s a reason why the gloves change from 8oz to 10oz, because we hit harder,” Tszyu warned those harbouring such grand ideas. 

There had, at the start of the week, been speculation that Tszyu’s Hall of Fame father Kostya would be in town, but Tim seemed almost relieved that Kostya was staying back in Russia, where he spends a lot of his time, and not heading out to Las Vegas.

“Yes, very pleased,” Tszyu replied, talking about his father’s ongoing absence from his corner. 

“We’re very close, but we’re actually quite similar. When you put two alphas together in one room [Tim pushed his fists together] especially when your son’s the alpha now, it’s a bit hard, even though I respect him so much, and I try, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, Dad.’” 

There is no ill will, but you get the feeling Tim Tszyu enjoys walking his own path. Earlier in the day, someone had said in the Media Center that Kostya Tszyu was Tim Tszyu’s dad, and not that Tim Tszyu was Kostya’s Tszyu’s son.

“That’s good,” Tim said. “I like to hear that. That brings a smile.”

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