Tim Tszyu warned us to watch out for little bro’s “heavy hands”.
He was right.
Nikita Tszyu took just two rounds to take care of Aaron Stahl, who suffered his first defeat in his fourth fight at the Fortitude Valley Music Hall in Brisbane.
On the same day that Tim revealed the official details of his US debut, Nikita announced himself to the world and continued the Tszyu legacy.
The 24-year-old was devastating from the outset, striking his opponent early with two powerful left punches.
Less than two rounds into the fight, boxing commentator Ben Damon said Stahl looked like he had been through a 12 round ringer. He hadn’t, but the blood suggested otherwise.
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After dropping him midway through the second of six rounds, Tim screamed “set it up” from the trainer’s corner.
Nikita did not muck about.
With one thumping right strike, Tszyu knocked Stahl to the deck. His opponent rose to his feet, but the fight was over by TKO.
A stunned Stahl later told Tszyu’s trainer Glen Jennings: “F*** he can hit”.
More fun than studying architecture, aye?
“Much funnier,” a beaming Nikita told Fox Sports’ Warren Smith.
“I didn’t expect it to be like this. It was kind of shocking at first, but once I got a little bit more comfortable I started to really enjoy myself.”
Tim described the performance as “flawless”.
“There were little mistakes, but look what he did – flawless,” a chuffed Tim Tszyu said.
Jeff Fenech described the newest professional boxer from the Tszyu family as “special”.
“This kid’s going to get better and better,” boxing great Fenech said.
“Every time he has a fight, he’ll improve. It’s exactly what his brother Tim did, he’ll improve.”
Subtle differences between the two Tszyu’s for sure, including years of boxing experience and finetuning, but as Fenech said, “he can fight”.
AUSSIE STAR ROCKS FILIPINO
Liam Wilson has scored one of the best knockout wins in recent years.
The 25-year-old, who last year lost to the world No.6, rocked Joe Noynay with a series of left hooks and knocked the Filipino to the floor with 10 seconds remaining in the second round.
Wilson’s knockout victory came just 24 hours after Noynay weighed-in almost 3kgs over the weight.
“Redemption,” boxing broadcaster Ben Damon said in commentary for Fox Sports.
“Liam Wilson has taken on a far bigger man and he’s knocked him out with pinpoint accuracy and pure brilliance. That is a famous victory for a young Australian.”
Wilson accepted the fight despite many pundits blasting Noynay, including world champion Jeff Horn.
“It’s very unprofessional to come in overweight,” Horn told Fox Sports moments before their fight.
Fenech added: “If I’m Liam Wilson I would have taken the fight, if I was his trainer there’s no way he would be in the ring tonight. I wouldn’t do it, I wouldn’t do it to my fighter. I think it’s wrong.”
Despite the weight difference, Wilson rocked his opponent and said he had been dreaming of redemption for the best part of a year.
“For eight months I’ve been thinking about this guy, more than my kids, and it was very draining,” Wilson said. “I couldn’t wait to get in here tonight and get rid of him out of my life.”
SPARK BRINGS THE FIREWORKS
River Daz brought the talk, but failed to back up his words.
During his press conference the world class kickboxer mouthed off and said he would bring the fireworks.
With the exception of taking the fifth round, Stevie Spark, who lost to Tim Tszyu after accepting a fight inside a week, dropped his opponent in the sixth round, winning by TKO.
“An impressive performance from Spark,” Damon said.
“He was out of the gates and he was brilliant early, but he had to weather a storm and he did exactly that.”
Spark said it was a “slot start” but paid tribute to his opponent.
“Whoever in this country wants to take it,” Spark said.
“I’m 25-years-old, I’ve got a huge career in this sport, I’ve got 10 years at least, I’m only just getting started. I know I’m destined to win world titles, I’m destined to do big things in the sport.”
Meanwhile, Cameron Hammond, who was previously (17-1), was beaten in every round against Danilo Creati (6-0) in their super-welterweight fight in the undercard. Creati won unanimously 79-71, 78-73, 79-71.
Earlier, Nikita had spoken earlier in the week of his desire to step out of his brother’s shadow but added that he “lives for that kind of pressure”.
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The man of the hour raised some eyebrows just hours before he takes to the ring when he said he was feeling calm.
“I’m feeling really calm, surprisingly,” Nikita told Fox Sports’ Smith and Fenech.
“I thought the nerves would be controlling me but I’m just enjoying the moment, I feel really relaxed, focused and ready to get this going.”
Fenech, who has seen every boxer from Kostya Tszyu to Tim and now Nikita, was left shocked by the debutant’s chilled demeanour.
“That’s a little scary when you’re not nervous,” Fenech said.
““I think it’s a really good sign when you’re nervous, it means you’re ready. So maybe get back out there and get a little bit nervous Nikita because you need to be ready.”
“The nerves are definitely there, but they’re tamed,” Nikita replied.
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Now, 30 years after father Kostya Tszyu made his boxing debut in Australia, it is Nikita’s time to make a statement.
And according to brother Tim, there is plenty to look forward too if his one time sparring Nikita was anything to go by.
“Nikita’s got really heavy hands,” Tim told foxsports.com.au on Thursday, predicting the fight will finish in a first-round knockout from his brother before making an even bolder call.
“He’s got dad’s power – maybe even more in all honesty,” Tim added.
“I’ve been hit by a few people, but when I felt Nikita’s shots, I was like, ‘f*** man, he’s not even trying to punch hard, but it’s just heavy.’”
So heavy that Tszyu revealed his grandfather banned the pair from sparring.
“It gets a bit too ruthless,” Tim said.
HOW TO WATCH
You can watch the full event live on Kayo or Fox Sports 505 from 7PM. If you are new to Kayo, you can try 14 days free now.
Nikita Tszyu df Aaron Stahl (Super-welterweight)
Dennis Hogan df Wade Ryan (IBO super-welterweight world title eliminator)
Liam Wilson df Joe Noynay (Super-featherweight)
Stevie Spark df River Daz (Super-lightweight)
Cameron Hammond df by Danilo Creati (Super-welterweight)
Linn Sandstrom (1-2-1) vs. Ali Jensen (0-2) (Super-flyweight)
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