Tim Tszyu clarifies his breakup with legendary father Kostya and the trauma of being taken to live in Russia as a child, while explaining why his father will NOT be in his world title fight.
- The Tszyus last saw each other in 2019
- Kostya will not be in Sunday’s title fight
- Tim opened up about distancing
Undefeated Australian boxer Tim Tszyu has explained why he has estranged from his Hall of Fame fighter father Kostya just ahead of his world title fight with American Tony Harrison.
The 28-year-old’s father is regarded as one of the sport’s all-time greats after winning multiple belts and reigning as the undisputed light-welterweight world champion; however, he has only been seen in one of Tim’s fights when he went 21-0. registration as a professional
Last August, Tim said his father would be with him for his planned fight against champion Jermell Charlo, but it appears he will be absent again after that fight fell through and was replaced by the Harrison clash.
Now the Australian super welterweight contender has explained why he remains distant from his conquering father, who left him, his mother and his younger brother Nikita to start a new life in their homeland of Russia.
Kostya last saw his eldest son when he came to Australia in 2019 (pictured left with Tim during a training session on that trip) and the pair will not meet for the title fight on Sunday.
‘Every year at school there was a Father’s Day camp. I never had a father’s day camp. I never had breakfast on Father’s Day,’ he told the howie games podcast.
‘He was never there for us. Looking back now, I understand where he came from because to get to where he did, there is a lot of sacrifice.
“It was difficult because you always think that your parents, it’s like a fairy tale, they love each other. Then all of a sudden it’s completely gone.
‘Dad moved to the other side of the world. For me, it wasn’t a big shock because he was always in and out. As soon as he finished boxing in 2005, he was always in and out of Russia non-stop.
He added that when his father made his professional debut in 2016, he felt “uncomfortable because he was yelling too much.”
A young Tim and Nikita joined their father in the field shortly after he stopped fighting and the culture shock was extreme, especially since the brothers received very preferential treatment due to their famous last name.
Tim (left) and his younger brother and fellow professional boxer Nikita (right) were like fish out of water when they moved with their father to Russia in the mid-2000s.
‘We had no friends. The weather was completely shitty. You don’t see the sun, you live in apartment complexes. Life is not something we are used to,’ Tim recalled.
He and Nikita got special treatment at the school and had their own driver available 24/7, but they couldn’t wait to get back to Australia.
‘I told my mother we can’t go back. We wanted to be normal,’ she said.
We didn’t want that life. That life was not for us. In Australia we are not used to such things, drivers or bodyguards or having special privileges.
Tim added that Kostya is now a “completely different man” as he continues to live in Russia with his two children from a new relationship.
Tim faces the toughest test of his career when he takes on Tony Harrison for the interim world title on Sunday. Kostya was meant to help out when he was due to face world champion Jermell Charlo before the fight fell through, but he won’t be in Sydney to back him up for this fight.
‘I look at him and think, is this the same dad as before? He has gone soft.
Last year Tim, who hasn’t seen his father since Kostya visited Australia in 2019, said it was “great” that his father intended to attend his planned fight with Charlo.
Asked how he could help in his preparation, he said: “Just get some tips and see what you think about the fight, work on some game plans.” I’m still not sure about the full logistics of all of this, we’re working on it now. We want to do more face to face.
‘I’ll have to get some advice from him. His experiences are different from mine. It has been a completely different journey.
‘Just so he can see what he thinks will be good.’