I Want To Find Myself At A Place I will Be Uncomfortable – America Is The Place To Go
The 27 years Tim Tszyu didn’t want to settle for more of the same while waiting for his first major title fight.
Sitting on the sidelines any longer than necessary also wasn’t an option for Australia’s Tszyu, who quickly agreed to a new date for his U.S. debut. The second-generation boxer will face 2012 U.S. Olympian and former title challenger Terrell Gausha atop a Showtime tripleheader this Saturday from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The date comes one week later than Tszyu originally expected to face Cleveland’s Gausha (22-2-1, 11KOs), as part of a scheduled March 19 Showtime event. The show was to have been headlined by the undisputed junior middleweight championship rematch between lineal/WBA/WBC/IBF champ Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18KOs) and WBO titlist Brian Castano (17-0-2, 12KOs).
A biceps tear suffered by Castano delayed the fight by nearly two months, with Tszyu (20-0, 15KOs) now headlining his own Showtime card in his first fight in the U.S.
“It’s a new thrill,” Tszyu told BoxingScene. “Even the process, talking to (the U.S.) media guys. It’s all new faces. I’m in this comfort zone in Australia, doing these big shows and being comfortable. I want to get to a place where I’m uncomfortable and be somewhere I haven’t been before. America is the place to go.”
The stateside journey comes later in the career of Tszyu than was the case for his Hall of Fame father and former lineal junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu, who fought twice in the U.S. even before challenging for his first world title.
The elder Tszyu dethroned IBF 140-pound titlist Jake Rodriguez just 14 fights into his career. Five defenses followed before Tszyu headlined his first stateside card. It came in his 20th pro fight and just four months shy of his 28th birthday. The night ended in disaster, with Tszyu suffering a tenth-round knockout and the end of his IBF reign to Vince Philips in their May 1997 HBO main event in Atlantic City.
Tim Tszyu enters his first 21st pro fight and less than eight months shy of his 28th birthday. The title implications aren’t quite the same—Tszyu is the mandatory challenger to Castano’s title, with the intention of his next fight coming with at least that belt at stake.
For now, the idea is to prove himself in a new market. Tszyu has quickly conquered his home region, to the point of emerging as a top contender. Staying the course, however, was never a consideration as he enters the next phase of his budding career.
“The funny thing is, I’ve done nine pay-per-view shows in Australia. A PPV show is the same type of pressure as a world title fight,” insists Tszyu. “The same size audience, the exposure. Some guys climb through the ranks on the undercard, they reach that level and then they buckle.
“None of this stuff is hard. It’s the same old shit to me. It’s cool but I like to bring myself to somewhere uncomfortable.”