'Take away his last name': Rival fighter brutally mocks Tim Tszyu

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Tim Tszyu lines up a punch on Bowyn Morgan.
Tim Tszyu has 17 wins from his 17 professional fights. Pic: Getty

Michael Zerafa has taken another stunning swipe at Tim Tszyu, insisting that the 26-year-old is only a big deal in Australian boxing because of his famous father.

The son of legendary former light-welterweight world champion Kostya Tszyu - Tim will put his unbeaten record on the line against Irishman Dennis Hogan on Wednesday night in a sellout super welterweight showdown in Newcastle.

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Tszyu has 17 wins from 17 bouts (13 by knockout) in a blemish-free career to date that has many good judges predicting him to fight for a world title sooner rather than later.

Zerafa - whose first round knockout win over Anthony Mundine in March spelled an end to the 45-year-old's career - isn't convinced about the hype surrounding Tszyu.

After beating Mundine, Zerafa once again called out Tszyu, urging his compatriot to "stop running" and step into the ring for a fight he claimed all Australian boxing fans wanted to see.

Tszyu fired back by claiming he had bigger fish to fry - starting with Hogan - and slammed Zerafa for taking on the fight against Mundine in the first place.

The war of words between the two fighters has ramped up again, with Zerafa claiming that Tszyu "wouldn't be getting any recognition" in Australian boxing if it wasn't for his surname.

“I don’t rate Tszyu,” Zerafa told Wide World of Sports.

“Take away his last name ... this is what annoys me. If he was Tim Smith, he wouldn’t be getting any recognition but because his dad is Kostya Tszyu, he’s getting all the recognition.

“People just think I’m a sore loser because of what I say but what has he done? He knocked out Jeff Horn? I was the first one to do it. Why aren’t they going crazy about me?”

Zerafa first called out Tszyu after the Aussie's stunning first-round KO victory against Bowyn Morgan in December, and insists that an all-Australian showdown between the pair will happen some time this year.

“I’ll fight him by the end of the year, 100 per cent,” Zerafa said.

“There’s nowhere else for him to go. He’s now lost his world title shot because Teixera lost. I’ve beaten everyone in Australia. He’s beaten everyone in Australia.”

Michael Zerafa and boxing rival Tim Tszyu are seen here in side-by-side pictures.
Tim Tszyu and Michael Zerafa have traded a series of barbs in an increasingly bitter rivalry. Pic: Getty/AAP

Tszyu confident he'll KO Hogan

Tszyu goes into Wednesday night's fight against Hogan as a raging favourite, despite claims from the Irishman's camp that the Aussie had a rematch clause inserted into the fight contract because he was scared of losing to the 36-year-old.

"Every single person that gets up on this stage, they always say they the same things," Tszyu's trainer Glen Jennings said.

"They always mention different levels, they always say Tim's not up to it, they're all in the best shape of their life - and they all get beat.

"The numbers speak for themselves.

"Tim Tszyu's the real deal and they're going to find out on Wednesday night how real he is."

No-nonsense Tszyu was typically pragmatic when asked for an assessment of his opponent.

"He's a great fighter. I have no disrespect for him," he said of Hogan.

"He's training like a fighter, does it full-time and is trying to feed his family.

"I've got all respect for that.

"But when you get in the ring, it's my ring, my world and I'm not going to let anyone out.

"I'm not here to kick back. I'm here to do damage with my fights."

Asked how the fight would finish, Tszyu said: "It doesn't finish. It's gonna be stopped.

"A hundred per cent certain."

A win for Tszyu will hopefully earn the Aussie a long-awaited world title shot at Argentina's Brian Castano, who holds the WBO light middleweight belt.

with AAP

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