Tim Tszyu admits he is bracing himself for the biggest test of his boxing career when he takes on Carlos Ocampo. He tells Daily Mail Australia that he expects a total battle of attrition for his interim WBO super welterweight title this Sunday.
The 28-year-old knocked out highly rated American Tony Harrison in his last bout, but expects a very different challenge when he takes on the Gold Coast’s Mexican hard man.
“He’s just a tough, tough, tough fight,” Tszyu revealed from his training camp in Queensland.
“Stylistically, it’s a different kind of fight than Harrison. It becomes a fight where you get tired, you throw a lot of punches, you throw a lot of heavy shots instead of focusing on placement.
The Aussie knockout artist believes Ocampo will be the toughest opponent of his career to date
The hardy Mexican (left) has just two knockouts to his impressive 35-2 record – including one in the first round against Errol Spence Jr (pictured) – but Tszyu isn’t counting on the fight to end early next Sunday
“With Tony Harrison it was more strategic, it wasn’t so brutal.
“Ocampo is first and foremost a warrior. It’s in his blood. He will not give up, he will die on his shield.’
The title contender has just one knockout loss to his impressive 35-2 record and that came when WBC, WBO and IBF world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr dismantled him in the first round with some vicious body shots – but Tszyu doesn’t get much out of it of that fight.
“The point is he fought Errol when he was only 21 years old, you can’t really judge anyone at that point,” he said.
“Six, seven years have passed since then – but the body shots are good, of course.”
Many pundits were stunned when the Aussie agreed to the Ocampo fight, as defeat would see him lose his status as a mandatory challenger to undisputed World Champion Jermell Charlo.
The interim WBO super welterweight champion brutally dispatched highly rated American Tony Harrison in his final fight – but believes Ocampo will be a whole different story
“He’s a warrior first and foremost,” Tszyu said of Ocampo. ‘It’s in his blood. He won’t give up, he’ll die on his shield’
The American was supposed to fight Tszyu in January but had to pull out due to injury and has since vowed to knock out ‘that asshole from Australia’ when they finally meet.
The son of boxing great Kostya believes he will have a clear edge over Charlo in the ring.
“I think he’s made a lot of money in his career, he’s comfortable with where he is right now, and I think all of that plays a role.
“Right now I’m chasing him, I want that fight, where he’s more comfortable.”
Tszyu prepares for Ocampo with high-quality sparring partners, including Ben Hussein and American brothers Jason and Justin Bell, who fight in the super middleweight division.
As always, he will spar for several rounds in a row as he gets a new opponent every three rounds to challenge himself – just like he did when he traveled to America last year to spar in preparation for Charlo.
Tszyu’s parents Kostya (pictured together) and mother Natalia did not baptize him with the name he uses in the ring
“The fighters there don’t treat you with any respect, 100 percent,” he explained.
“It’s about coming to the gym feeling a little uncomfortable, which is the biggest lesson I’ve learned. Different faces, different people, different gym environment – that all plays a role in growth.’
Tszyu has been dubbed the ‘Soul Taker’ thanks to his record of knocking out his opponents – but he was originally dubbed Timofei by his parents.
When asked why he never entered the ring with that name, he was completely stunned.
‘Don’t know. That’s actually a good question – I’ve never been asked that before,’ he said.
‘No one calls me Timofei, not my mother or my brother. I have no plans to change.
“It’s just the name on my passport, honestly.”