Just days after Tim Tszyu threw down the ledger to his opponents after demolishing Takeshi Inoue, younger brother, Nikita Tszyu, has signed a fight contract to turn professional early next year.
In one sentence Tszyu announced himself.
“I want to achieve that greatness,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.
And who would doubt him given the pedigree he comes from?
Father, Kostya, is one of Australia’s boxing greats while older brother Tim on Wednesday announced himself to the world by his unanimous points victory over his Japanese opponent.
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The boxing prodigy stepped away from the boxing ring six years ago, but after watching Tim fight earlier this year the flame has once again been lit.
“In Tim’s fight against Dennis Hogan, I got to go into the ring,” the 23-year-old said.
“That feeling of being on the mat, seeing everyone cheering around, that was one of the main deciding moments that made me want to go back into the sport.
“It was motivating. Seeing my brother there, seeing that beautiful victory – I was training with him beforehand, so I got to see the process.
“Yes, Tim is one of the main motivations for me to come back.”
Nikita has signed with manager Glen Jennings, who oversaw Kostya’s career and is now in charge of Tim’s campaign to be a world champion.
He will fight in the same 68.85kg weight class as Tim.
“Nikita is a natural lion, he’s got animal instinct in him,” said Tim Tszyu, 27.
“As soon as he gets into the ring, he’s a kicker.
“Growing up, I didn’t have that. I was always the calm guy in the ring, I would think before I do. He doesn’t think before he does, he just does.”
Stories of Kostya, the second Australian fighter to be a unified boxing champion behind Lionel Rose, taking his children for pre-dawn runs are infamous.
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Tim has taken that same steely focused attitude into his career, while there are high hopes Nikita will follow the same trajectory his 20-0 brother has.
“The Tszyu boys don’t come along very often, Kostya created two of them, that’s it, there’s no more,” Jennings said.
“We know the comparisons will come, it’s inevitable and we’ll handle it.
“We respect that Kostya opened up the door, we respect what he achieved. But Kostya, in some respects, is long gone. He‘s living in his own life and doing his thing, and these boys are creating their own pathway forward, and it’s a sign of respect for what he achieved, the fact that he created something that these boys aspire to.
“And I believe there‘s every chance they’ll both get there, but that’s on them.”
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