Tim Tszyu to call on legendary father Kostya's help ahead of Jermell Charlo world title showdown

Kostya Tszyu may have been an undisputed world champion and legend of the sport but when it comes to oldest son Tim’s boxing career, he’s only been to one of his 21 professional fights - the first one.

Last year, Tim told Sporting News of his frustrations with his legendary father on that night in 2016.

“He was uncontrollable – a pain in the ass,” Tszyu said.

“The only person I could hear was him, his voice.

“I remember thinking in the back of my mind ‘dad, can you shut up? I’m boxing here, I’m doing it myself. Stop telling me what to do.’”

Since that night, the 27-year-old hasn’t had to worry about hearing his dad’s advice while he fights - Kostya returned to Russia and hasn’t been back to see any of his son's rise to world title contender.

That looks set to change when Tim faces American Jermell Charlo for the undisputed super-welterweight title in Las Vegas on January 28 (January 29 in Australia).

Tszyu revealed in Brisbane on Wednesday that Kostya will be involved in some capacity this time, although there’ll be one key stipulation. 

“He wants to come along. I’d love to see him there,” Tszyu told Sporting News.

“I’ll definitely get some tips off him. He was undisputed champ for a reason. We haven’t discussed the full details about it yet but we’ll get there.”

One thing is certain, Kostya wont be ringside: “He’ll be up in the crowd, that’s where he’s going to be.”

In Charlo, Tszyu has by far the biggest challenge of his career in front of him, but the long break between his last outing - his US debut victory over Terrell Gausha in March - and his shot at all the belts at 154-lbs could be a blessing in disguise.

Tszyu required surgery on both hands following his unanimous decision win over former Olympian Gausha.

“My hands are sort of recovering and it’s given me time to just be 100 per cent healed,” he said.

“I’m back punching, I was a bit worried for a bit but it’s good.

“I’ve got less worry about my hands. I was worried before.

“If I was to fight now, it wouldn’t be a good idea. The next six months I can condition them to be like rocks.”

Tszyu said the long lead-in to the fight will also give him time to refine his style and come in ready to take the hard-hitting 32-year-old down.

“Nah, I’m going to be completely different,” he said.

“I’m going to box. I can’t make a mistake.”

But will Tszyu’s trademark in-your-face, high-pressure style make an appearance?

“We’ll see what I feel like. If his punches don’t take much, then I’ll just walk forward, like a zombie.”


Tom Naghten is a senior editor for The Sporting News Australia.