Tim Tszyu is a fairly unremarkable guy by boxing standards. Tony Harrison, with whom he will fight for the interim World Super Welter belt on Sunday afternoon in Sydney, is not.
In the shadow of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge for the final press conference, the two made strikingly different appearances on the main stage, with Harrison strolling shirtless and Tszyu then making him wait before arriving in a bright red ute and sharp suit.
That wasn’t typical of Tszyu, and Harrison was right in his assessment: “He got out of the car like a diva!” exclaimed the American star. “You had someone who opened the door for you. He’s just a different man. I’m not knocking him, I’m just opposite.”
BUY TSZYU VS HARRISON HERE
He went on to explain why he chose to forego a jersey for the event as something he would do before basketball at local Detroit courts.
“When they saw me shirtless on the sidelines, they knew the next thing I was going to be…I meant f***ing business,” he said, adding that he would do it for the “bitches,” too.
“Business or bitches. This one here? I think Tim knows why my shirt is off.”
It was an appropriately bizarre way to end Tony Harrison’s rollercoaster week, a gift that will take No Limit Boxing to the bank. In the ring, he’s the only man to have defeated Jermell Charlo, now the undisputed weight champion, and other than that, he’s just the kind of brash American who puts bums in seats in foreign climes.
Tszyu, who appeared in a sharp suit, said he wasn’t distracted by his opponent’s antics.
“I’m in killer mode,” said the Aussie fighter. “I feel good, I feel like I’m in the zone. The last time I wore a suit at the press conference was for the Jeff Horn fight and the reason was because I was in this mental state. I can feel it this time.
“Before, I wasn’t that excited or interested, but this is it. Here I gave everything. Four months ago I stepped on the accelerator and gave it my all.
“I enjoy the ride. It’s part of the game, we’re dealing with so many different personalities in boxing. Some are boring, some are fun, some are extravagant and some are comedic. There are some from America and some from Australia. There are all.
“You have to know how to deal with it and I think I’ve embraced it. I let him go, covered his mouth a bit, but at the same time he’s very respectful.”
Speak with the roarTszyu saluted his surroundings and the sport’s renaissance in Australia, which has led him to join George Kambosos, who twice fought Devin Haney in Melbourne last year, as well as Jai Opetaia, the current Cruiserweight Champion, and Ebanie Bridges, IBF Bantamweight Champion the top chart in world boxing.
“George did an incredible job fighting one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world,” Tszyu said. “What he has done for the sport in Australia is great.
“It’s a golden age of boxing. I love it, I love representing Australia and my hometown on this world level. Look at what we’re doing, look at these press conferences. This isn’t a bar show, this is a real fight.
“It is a good feeling. That sure is a lot of responsibility. It’s a different feeling, but certainly more motivating and exciting.
“It’s different for him (Harrison) because the Aussies are going to be really, really behind me, but when we get in the ring it’s going to be different again. You feel the energy of the crowd, but they don’t help you hit – it’s a one-on-one sport.”
Both Harrison and Charlo are also eyeing a possible shot at Charlo, who will be at ringside on Sunday and will likely fight the winner next. A fight was scheduled between the champion and the Australian contender only for a sparring injury to kick in, with Harrison defeating him then losing a rematch and looking for a trilogy match.
“I love it,” Harrison said. “That made this fight that much more flavorful for both of us. Just to see the champ sitting ringside with all his belts on, that’s the best thing in boxing. Jermell coming to the fight is all – he didn’t have to come. That’s the motivation we both need.
However, he didn’t think much of his opponent and aimed for Tszyu’s record.
“Who’s bones he broke?” he nodded. “Who has he broken bones in 21 fights? The props of the other guys he’s been fighting, he’s breaking, we’re parading them in Australia, but cut it man.
“I want the best of Tim. When I speak, I mean it. When I started talking in the presses from the very beginning, he understood that I’m a live dog, I’m serious. I have to run, work out, strip, everything.
“He doesn’t want to be hit, his body doesn’t want to be hit, he’s mostly vulnerable when he’s hindfoot walking so expect the unexpected.
“I think the tough struggles I’ve had in the gym prepared me to be as relaxed as I am now.
“I want the best for everyone. But it’s one fight after another. Me and Tim, Sunday. I’m going in there to do Tony’s job, and Tony’s job is to kick ass.”
https://www.theroar.com.au/2023/03/11/im-in-killer-mode-tszyu-ready-for-comedian-harrison-as-bizarre-brash-american-steals-pre-fight-show/ Tszyu is ready for "Comedian" Harrison as a bizarre, brash American who steals the show before the fight