Kostya Tszyu is regarded by many as one of the hardest punchers the 140 pound division has ever witnessed. After winning Gold in the Sydney Amateur World Championships in 1991, the Russian started a new life in Australia shortly after. He would go on to tear through the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez and Zab Judah in a glittering career that saw him become a two-weight world champion.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, son Tim Tszyu (22-0, 16KOs) has become the number 1 in Australian boxing and is fast making moves Stateside as a bout with super welterweight ruler Jermell Charlo is earmarked for later this year. In the meantime Tszyu will face Carlos Ocampo next month on The Gold Coast, Australia.
Manager Glen Jennings knows the father and son better than most. Jennings guided Kostya though an illustrious period in his career and now looks over Tim’s career from its beginning.
“I spent 15 years with Kostya.” Jennings said in an exclusive interview for ProBox Tv News. “It is very much a family affair and I’m happy to be involved. [Kostya] is not involved a lot though. The time I spent with him was an amazing journey. We have worked very hard though to make sure Tim and both the boys, Nikita too create their own identities.”
Brother of Tim and second son of Kostya, Nikita Tszyu continues the family trade. The southpaw with a record of 5-0 (4 KOs) is also managed by Jennings.
Comparisons and the search for similarities are inevitable when a son follows his father into the ring, despite the gulf in childhood in most cases.
“They carry the DNA!” Jennings explained. “I sometimes get a wry smile when I see something which is almost a carbon copy [in the gym]. But they are different in a lot of ways. Tim is more of a pressure fighter. Nikita is closer in style to his Dad. I think the major theme that runs through all of them is the unbelievable focus and dedication. These kids were brought up in a militaristic home where Kostya was almost a dictator, that’s carried through with them. There is no chance you can distract these boys from their training. We work around the precedent that it is training, focus and work first, then we do everything else after.
“I was there when the boys were born. It has been interesting watching them grow up, they have been fighters from the get go. Funny story, the boys and their cousins would religiously meet up every Sunday and lace up their 16oz gloves on their tiny little hands and punch on in the backyard for hours, they just loved it. Kostya was also regimental as the boys grew up and started going to school. They would run every morning at 5am religiously. Then they would go to school and they would be at the gym that afternoon. I think like most Aussie kids they had opportunities to experiment with other sports, they were very good basketball and soccer players. The DNA was always going to steer them back to boxing, for sure.”