Nikita Tszyu vs. Mason Smith: How to Watch, Start Time, Predictions
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During Nikita Tszyu’s professional boxing debut in Brisbane in March, the most nervous man in the arena wasn’t the first-timer himself, it was his big brother, Tim.
The 27-year-old was in his younger sibling’s corner and barked out instructions throughout the fight before Nikita ended proceedings in the second round.
The younger sibling has openly spoken about finding his feet in that first round and learning to deal with the occasion.
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But for Tim, being helpless to fully control proceedings was not an enjoyable experience on what was a “weird day” for the star, although he’s more relaxed now that his brother has gotten the first fight out of the way.
“The first fight, f***, I didn’t know how to react,” Tszyu told foxsports.com.au.
“I was nervous. It was a weird day for me. Nikita’s in the groove now. Before, it was a bit of the unknown.
“In my head I was thinking, ‘Yes, he’s good, but I don’t know what’s going to happen.’
“Now, I could see he’s more comfortable and he feels strong. He’s looking a lot better.”
With the experience of the debut now in the rear view mirror, it’s allowed Nikita and his team to analyse what was done well and what they would have liked to have done differently going forward.
It appears that the younger brother has certainly made one notable change in the eyes of Tim.
When quizzed on what’s different about Nikita (1-0) in the build-up to his second fight against Mason Smith (5-0), Tim responded: “Just his demeanour.”
“Nothing is a shock anymore,” Tszyu said.
“He was a virgin in the first fight. Now, he’s popped his cherry.
“He looks more comfortable. He looks stronger and is more comfortable in and out of the ring.In Nikita’s first fight, many - including Nikita himself - felt that the fight was stopped slightly early, although there was little contention as to who would have won the fight eventually.
It didn’t allow for the younger Tszyu to display his growing array of skills and how he had developed after so many years away from the sport.
Against Smith, Nikita will face a sterner test, but it will also hopefully grant him a chance to showcase what he’s learned.
Tim will once again be in his brother’s corner before flying out on Thursday morning to attend the hotly-anticipated rematch between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano in Los Angeles on Sunday (AEST).
But before he hops on the plane to America, he wants to see one thing from his little brother and if all goes to plan, it will end with Smith snoozing on the canvas well before the final round.
“I want him to put on a mature performance,” Tszyu said.
“Nikita’s got all the tools in the book. He’s got crazy genetics. He’s got a crazy mind for a boxer, for an athlete. He’s very obsessed with what he does. For him, he just needs to put on a mature performance to make the least amount of mistakes as possible.
Paul Gallen started a near-unbackable favourite but continues to drift in betting markets ahead of his heavyweight title fight against Kris Terzievski in Newcastle tonight - and this vision likely explains why.
Training footage obtained by News Corp shows off Terzievski’s daunting speed as he works the pads. The vision has been doing the rounds in boxing circles and highlights exactly what 40-year-old Gallen will be facing when the pair battle it out for the Australian and Australiasian titles in Newcastle.
Terzievski was rated a $6.50 outsider by some bookmakers early in betting but has firmed in to $2.55 on the Tab, with Gallen now a $1.55 favourite.
While the footage may surprise some, Gallen has suggested all week he already knows what he’s up against. While he admits he lacks the pure boxing skill of his 32-year-old rival, he’s confident he has the edge in heart and toughness.
”You’re a pretty boxer but Wednesday’s not going to be pretty, it’s going to be ugly, it’s going to be a street fight and I’m going to bash ya,” Gallen told Terzievski before sensationally storming out of Monday’s official press conference.