Gloves off, shirt off as Tszyu, Harrison get serious
A hungry Tim Tszyu has launched into "killer mode" after a colourful and at-times explosive pre-world title fight exchange with American trash talker Tony Harrison.
After a week of mostly friendly banter, Tszyu took exception to Harrison branding him a "diva" after the home-town hero made a spectacular entrance to Friday's official pre-fight press conference at the Sydney Opera House.
"You got out of that car like a diva. You had someone like open the door for you. Come on, man," Harrison said.
The "low blow" flicked the switch for Tszyu, who refused to accept a follow-up olive branch from the motor mouth from Motor City in Detroit.
"I've let him run his mouth a little bit and let him have his say," Tszyu said.
"Some things make sense, some don't.
"I don't like him. I'm ready to fight now. There's no kisses and hugs.
"I've come here to fight. There's a dog in me right now. I feel like a pit bull right now.
"I'm going to punch you in the face in the next couple of days, why would I like you?"
The two vastly different personalities presented in appropriately contrasting attire.
The super-suited Tszyu (21-0, 15KO) said he was "ready for business" as he bids to claim the interim WBO super-welterweight title and finally join his father Kostya as a world boxing champion on Sunday.
"Killer mode, man. Killer mode. I feel good. I feel like I'm in the zone," he said.
"The last time I wore a suit was to Jeff Horn. The only reason I did that was because I was in that mental state. And this time I feel it."
Harrison (29-3-1, 21KO) fronted up shirtless, intent on showing off the chiselled frame that Tszyu earlier in the week declared "all skinny".
"If you think I'm frail and you want to break every bone in my body, which one? Pick it," said the eight-packed specimen.
"I want you to see if it, visualise it champ."
The reward for Sunday's victor is a rich one: a winner-takes-all blockbuster later this year in the US with undisputed divisional champion Jermell Charlo.
Harrison is the only man to have defeated Charlo, briefly relinquishing his countryman of the WBC strap in 2018, and welcomed the news that Charlo was flying in to watch.
"This division is the best in boxing. For Jermell to come to the fight, that's everything because he didn't have to come," Harrison said.
"He came and that's the motivation for both of us."
No Limit Boxing boss George Rose said he'd heard the rumours of Charlo being a surprise spectator at Qudos Bank Arena but wouldn't believe it "until he steps off the plane".
Tszyu, who was supposed to fight Charlo in Las Vegas in January before the champion broke two bones in his left hand in training, doubts their match-up will ever materialise once the Texan sees what he does to Harrison.
"I wouldn't be surprised if he decides to move up (a division) after this," Tsyzu said.
"Charlo vacates and moves up. The headlines on Monday."