Living in the shadow of a famous father is a daunting prospect for any athlete but for Tim Tszyu, the Aussie boxer has emerged as a genuine contender to be Australia's next great boxing world champion.
Tszyu destroyed Jeff Horn in a Townsville masterclass on Wednesday night, confident he's now ready to emulate his boxing legend father Kostya and fight for a world title.
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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".
It wasn't just in Australia where Tszyu was being hailed, with overseas fight experts glowing in their praise for the 25-year-old.
“Tim Tszyu is the new king of Aussie boxing,” CBS Sports Brian Campbell exclaimed.
“This is a hell of a coming-out party.”
ESPN’s Steve Kim said “Tszyu sliced up Horn with precision and force" and operated with "great efficiency inside the ring.”
USA Today boxing writer Matthew Aguilar said Tszyu's class and composure in the ring proved that he has much more to his game than just a famous surname.
“It’s not so much about the who as the how,” Aguilar said.
“Horn is Horn. But the story was Tszyu’s composure and discipline, and how he meticulously took a more experienced fighter apart.”
Fellow boxing writer Alex McClintock called it a "huge debut on the big stage" for the young Aussie.
“Tszyu was clinical. Great punch selection. Head and body. Not ruffled at all. Jeff was maybe a bit flat but Tszyu made him look that way.”
The plaudits for Tszyu were also coming in thick and fast on social media after his comprehensive victory over the former world champion.
Australian Boxing has a new standard bearer. Tim Tszyu was incredible tonight.— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottlieb) August 26, 2020
There’s no shame in being outclassed on Horn’s side. The end comes for every athlete. Please don’t fight again though. #HornTszyu
🇦🇺 Tim Tszyu looked incredible. A new contender has arrived. I thought 🇦🇺 Jeff Horn would take it to the youngster and I was massively wrong. Tszyu is a threat at super welterweight RIGHT NOW! Beautiful performance #boxing— GM Ross (@CanadianBoxiana) August 26, 2020
Unbelievable performance by Tim Tszyu 👏🏻👏🏻🥊🥊 - If this is it by Horn, thanks for all the memories legend 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 #HornvsTszyu— Scotty 🇦🇺 (@ScottLee80) August 26, 2020
I don’t think I could possible be any more impressed by Tim Tszyu. Amazing.— Gabrielle Englebrecht (@Gabrielle_27386) August 26, 2020
Amazing performance by Tim Tszyu. Quite right too that we should call him by his own name.— 💧uniqueliving4u (@uniqueliving4U) August 26, 2020
He is a fantastic fighter all on his own and in his own right.
World title fight looms for Tim Tszyu
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 one, 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."