There's a plethora of prizefighting this Saturday, but most of my focus will be on the card taking place at the Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that features the America debut of Tim Tszyu. On this evening he is facing Terrell Gausha in a scheduled 12 round contest that will be broadcast on Showtime.
As you probably know, he is the son of the great Kostya Tszyu, who reigned over the junior welterweight division in the early 2000's.
There have been numerous world champions who have sired professional boxers with decidedly mixed results. Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Jr, Leon and Cory Spinks, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Jr. and more recently Nigel and Conner Benn, come to mind.
It remains to be seen how Tyszu's career plays out. But here are the facts, as of this moment he is rated number one at 154 by the WBO (who's belt-holder is Brian Castano), third in both the WBC and IBF, with Ring Magazine has him at five.
At 20 fights (20-0, 15 KOs) in at age 27, he is considered a legitimate contender. As Castano and Charlo battle it out for undisputed honors on May 14, Tszyu is looking to solidify his standing in the division.
“I have come to America with big visions of taking over the whole super welterweight division and becoming the next great 154-pound champion of the world,” said Tszyu. “To become a legend, you must come to America at some point in your career and leave a mark on the sport. I want to continue my family's legacy in boxing, as well as forge my own journey. March 26 is the start of my era.”
The younger Tszyu doesn't just resemble his father, he actually fights like him. From his probing left hand, to his laser-like right hand. He even has his same upright stance and has also inherited the two-fisted power from 'the Thunder from Down Under'.
Tim Tszyu makes Dennis Hogan's corner Quit | Tszyu vs Hogan Highlights
At this juncture of his career, Tszyu has become a legitimate attraction in Australia as he has mowed down a laundry list of carefully selected opponents. The only recognizable names to American fans on his ledger are Jeff Horn(TKO8), Dennis Hogan (TKO5) and most recently, Takeshi '69' Inoue (W12).
Tim Tszyu Twitter
In Gausha (22-2-1, 11 KOs), he's facing a seasoned veteran. The 2012 U.S. Olympian has lost to only Erislandy Lara and Erickson Lubin. He's been solid-if-not-spectacular pro. At this stage he's at the Last Chance Saloon, a loss probably signals the twilight of his career. A victory propels him to another title shot.
There's no doubt that Tszyu is expected to win this contest. He is a 10-to-1 favorite, which seems a bit exorbitant. If he can stop Gausha, or handle him in dominant fashion, Tszyu will give indication that it truly is like father like son.
“I respect my opponent, he has a world-class amateur pedigree, and has fought at the championship level,” stated Tszyu. “I feel that facing someone like Gausha, who is coming off a big win in his last outing, makes for a great fight. This will be my Showtime debut, and I am looking to not just be the best, but also the face of the network.
"My goal is to follow in the footsteps of my father, and one day be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.”
On that same night, ESPN has a show from Results World Las Vegas, that has the return of former WBC junior lightweight titlist, Miguel Berchelt, who takes on Jeremia Nakathila.
The last time we saw Berchelt was 13 months ago when his long title run was ended in brutal fashion by Oscar Valdez, who floored him three times en route to a 10th round stoppage. He was burst in the Top Rank bubble. Beyond the performance of Valdez, what was clear was that Berchelt was a fighter that was severely depleted at 130. As he stepped off the scales for that bout, he looked like a prisoner of war on a diet.
Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Now he returns as a lightweight, where he could get right back in the mix with a few victories. Guys like Berchelt who have fan-friendly styles (and it doesn't hurt that he's Mexican) will always have a spot in the game.
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