More than a son of a gun, Tim Tszyu is a world champion in his own right after knocking out flashy American Tony Harrison in their super-welterweight showdown in Sydney.
Tszyu dropped Harrison in the ninth round with a series of savage blows to the head and body to claim the interim WBO belt and emulate his Hall-of-Fame father Kostya in winning a world boxing title.
Seemingly just ahead on points, Tszyu exploded to life to pummel Harrison and leave the referee with no alternative but to stop the fight at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday.
The hometown favourite’s victory came 28 years after Kostya knocked out Jake Rodriguez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas — when Tim was barely two months old — to capture his maiden world title, the IBF super-lightweight strap.
The Tszyus join an elite group of just six father-son boxing world champions, including legends Julio Cesar Chavez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, and Leon and Corey Spinks.
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“Thank you, Australia,” Tszyu roared in elation to the capacity crowd.
“I’ve got one sentence. What’s my motherf—ing name?”
In preserving his undefeated record, Tszyu (23-0, 16KO) also secured a unified mega-fight later this year, likely in July in Vegas, against undisputed divisional king Jermell Charlo.
Tszyu was supposed to have squared off with Charlo in Sin City in January before the American broke two bones in his left hand in training.
“The message was sent clearly. You know what’s up, what’s next. I’m coming to America,” Tszyu said when asked what was in store for Charlo.
He could have waited for Charlo to recover, but placed his world title dreams on the line by taking on Harrison, the one-time WBC world champion.
The only man to have beaten Charlo, Harrison (29-4-1, 21KO) had derided Tszyu as “the bottom of the totem pole” for beating mostly nobodies and riding his family name to his date with destiny.
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But the motor mouth found out the hard way that Tszyu is deserving of his place at the top table in the stacked super-welterweight division.
“There was some banter. In the ring, I proved I was the better man,” Tszyu said.
“The respect is always there. We never bow down to chatter.
“I was smart. I knew he had a jab. He’s the man that beat the man.
“It means I just beat the man that beat the man. What does that make me?”
Incredibly, Tszyu is the second boxer hailing from Kostya’s academy in suburban Sydney to snare a world title in the past 18 months.
George Kambosos Jr, who grew up training with Tszyu at the gym before forging his own path through in the US and the Philippines, held the WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring lightweight titles until last June after upsetting the previously unbeaten Teofimo Lopez in New York in October 2021.
A watchful and wary Tszyu barely threw a punch in Sunday’s opening round, which the busier Harrison took.
It was more of the same in round two as Tszyu struggled to connect with any meaningful blows.
But he upped the ante with a big overhand right in the third that rocked Harrison, who staved off the wobbles only to find himself on the receiving end again in round four.
Tszyu edged ahead with a series of body shots in round five, as well as a fierce straight right to Harrison’s head.
The Detroit dangerman hit back in the sixth, landing more shots than Tszyu, who delivered several swings and misses.
Round seven was tough to call but there was little doubt Tszyu took the eighth with another stinging right to the American’s head, before ending the contest with his stunning barrage.