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Tim Tszyu: 'First is the only option'

Tim Tszyu, 26, is coming off a career best win when he knocked out former WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn in eight rounds in Townsville in August.

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Tszyu vs. Morgan
Tszyu vs. Morgan

Undefeated Australian junior middleweight Tim Tszyu has laughed off Bowyn Morgan’s claim that he is going to knock him out when they meet at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta, Sydney on Wednesday night.


The 31-year-old Morgan revealed his gameplan before departing his native New Zealand.

"I know coming over there, I have to put him away to get the win. I know that," said Morgan 21-1 (11).


"There can’t be judges entailed for me to get the win… I just know with my fighting style compared to his, for me, I have to get him out of there."

Tszyu, who will be fighting at the same venue where his famous father Kostya made the second defense of his IBF junior welterweight crown against Hugo Pineda almost 25 years ago, says that won’t be happening.


"He’s coming to my hometown thinking he’s going to take me?” said Tszyu 16-0 (12) to the Sydney Morning Herald.

"There is no way I would ever allow that to happen. That’s like saying someone is coming to your house to steal something from you.


"Would you defend it? Of course you would. I am coming to defend everything I’ve got.


"I represent the last name Tszyu all around the world, in Russia and Australia, to all the diehard boxing fans from everywhere.


"We’re coming for the same thing. I don’t want to leave it to the judges either."

Tszyu, 26, is coming off a career best win when he knocked out former WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn in eight rounds in Townsville in August.


That victory followed a stellar year in 2019 that saw the fast-rising contender overcome former Commonwealth champion Denton Vassell, Australian champion Joel Camilleri, world-rated Dwight Ritchie and popular Cronulla slugger Jack Brubaker.


"He’s been boxing great, Tim, at the moment," Morgan admitted.


"He’s got great hands, good footwork. I just thought he hasn’t fought someone like me who comes forward on that front foot.


"As much as he says he wants that, let’s see."


Asked about Tszyu’s biggest weakness, Morgan said: "On the inside. No one has pushed him on the front foot. As much as he wants it, no one has.


"That’s a weakness."


"That’s what Jeff Horn said as well," Tszyu countered. "I’ve got a big reach advantage. If he tries to box me on the outside, he won’t land a punch. Not one punch. His only option is to come forward and get inside, there’s no other option.


"Let’s just be sure that when he tries to come forward, he will get clocked.


"I’m coming for the knockout."

Morgan, who works as a personal trainer, knocked back the opportunity to face Tszyu last year due to a pre-existing commitment to face Japanese-based American Charles Bellamy, a fight that ultimately fell through.


"The reason that got turned down is because I already had an IBF Pan Pacific title fight scheduled and because of COVID that got taken away," he said.


"This is a massive opportunity for me, I can’t wait to take it with both hands."

According to Tszyu, Morgan should have faced him earlier in his career when he was a little greener.

"He should have taken it when the opportunity was there," he said. "It’s a risk [for me] maybe 12 or 18 months ago, now it’s a win-win type fight.


"Things change. I haven’t taken days off and I’ve been obsessed with my training, obsessed with getting better, obsessed with working on new things.


"I’m a different fighter right now."


In a recent promotional video for Everlast, Tszyu said his goal isn’t to win just one world title, but multiple championships.


“My dad taught me from a young age that the only option is first. There’s no such thing as trying; you have to,” he said.


“Me, my brother and my cousin, anything we did we tried to win. For me, that’s the norm. You have to be first.


“There’s no such thing as an easy ride in boxing. Once you get in the ring there’s no-one there that can compete for you. It’s just you and your opponent…


“What my last name has done is get me to a better position, but at the end of the day I’m the one who has put in the work. I am the one who has defeated all my opponents.


“To be compared with my dad is a blessing because he is the greatest Australian fighter to have ever lived.


“I’ve got the skill, I’ve got the discipline, I’ve got the desire. I’ve got everything I need to succeed and there’s no way that these other boys can beat me.


“First is the only option.”


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