Kostya Tszyu

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Kostya Tszyu
Kostya Tszyu 2008.jpg
Statistics
Real nameKonstantin Borisovich Tszyu
Nickname(s)Thunder from Down Under
Rated atLight Welterweight
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Reach67 in (170 cm)
NationalityRussia Russian
Australia Australian
Born(1969-09-19) 19 September 1969 (age 44)
Serov, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights34
Wins31
Wins by KO25
Losses2
Draws0
No contests1
 
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Kostya Tszyu
Kostya Tszyu 2008.jpg
Statistics
Real nameKonstantin Borisovich Tszyu
Nickname(s)Thunder from Down Under
Rated atLight Welterweight
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Reach67 in (170 cm)
NationalityRussia Russian
Australia Australian
Born(1969-09-19) 19 September 1969 (age 44)
Serov, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights34
Wins31
Wins by KO25
Losses2
Draws0
No contests1

Konstantin Borisovich "Kostya" Tszyu (/ˈkɒstə ˈz/; Russian: Константин (Костя) Борисович Цзю; born 19 September 1969) is a semi-retired Russian-Australian professional boxer of mixed Russian, Korean and Mongol descent.[1] He holds both Russian and Australian citizenship and is a four-time world Light Welterweight Champion, including a period of time as the Undisputed Light Welterweight Champion.

Tszyu was the first champion to unify the light welterweight division in over 30 years. He is considered by many[according to whom?] in Australia to be a national sports hero. In Ring Magazine's March 2010 issue, Tszyu was ranked as the number one junior welterweight of the decade (2000's). On 7 December 2010, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame for the Class of 2011.

Early years[edit]

As the son of his Korean (paternal) and Mongol (maternal) descent father, a fitter in a metal factory, and his Russian mother, a nurse, Tszyu was born in Serov, a town near the Ural Mountains, in the former Soviet Union.

Because he was a hyperactive child, his father decided to take him to a boxing gym, where he would channel that energy by fighting older boys.[citation needed] He impressed Russia's amateur team coaches and he was sent to the Soviet Union's amateur boxing travelling training camps, where he visited more than 30 countries while training and fighting in tournaments. He trained with that group 250 days a year, and won various tournaments, such as amateur boxing's world championships. He also participated in the 1988 Olympic Games. At the Cuban world championship tournament in 1987, he came in second place, and at the Seoul Olympic games, he lost in the third round.

Tszyu was a member of the Soviet military too, but since he was selected as an elite athlete, he was not required to participate in combat. He fought at the world championships once again, in Moscow in 1989, where he came in third place.

In 1991, he went again to the amateur world championships, this time held in Sydney. This was a trip that would change his life forever. Not only was the third time his charm, but he felt enchanted with the sights of Sydney and its people, and decided he wanted to live in Australia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1992, Tszyu emigrated to Australia with his girlfriend, where they married in 1993 and became Australian citizens, settling in Rockdale, Sydney. Before marrying her, though, Tszyu had already turned professional, beating Darrell Hiles by a knockout in one round on 1 March 1992, at Melbourne.

Amateur career[edit]

Tszyu compiled an amateur record of 259-11.

Amateur highlights[edit]

Professional career[edit]

Light Welterweight[edit]

Tszyu started raising his quality of opposition almost immediately. In his fourth professional bout, he met the former WBC Featherweight Champion Juan Laporte, decisioning him over ten rounds. In his sixth bout, he beat contender Sammy Fuentes by a knockout in the first. Fuentes would go onto win a world title years after being handily beaten by Tszyu in 1993, Steve Larrimore, Larry La Crousiere and Robert Rivera, went to Australia to fight Tszyu, and none lasted more than two rounds. The only man to last more than two rounds with Tszyu in 1993 was Livingstone Bramble, a former World Lightweight Champion, who lost by decision to Tszyu at Newcastle, New South Wales.

In 1994, Héctor López, Angel Hernandez (who had just come off of a loss after challenging Julio César Chávez for the WBC belt), and Pedro Chinito Sanchez from the Dominican Republic tried to beat Tszyu, but Tszyu beat Lopez by a decision in ten, Hernandez by a knockout in seven, and Sanchez by a knockout in four. After the win against Sanchez, Tszyu was ranked number one in the light welterweight.

First title[edit]

In 1995, he received his first world title shot when he fought IBF Light Welterweight Champion Jake Rodríguez at Las Vegas, Nevada. Tszyu became world champion by knocking Rodriguez out in the sixth round. He then defended the world title, beating former Super Featherweight and Light Welterweight World Champion Roger Mayweather by a decision in 12, Hugo Pineda by a knockout in 11, Cory Johnson by a knockout in four and Jan Bergman by a knockout in six. After this string of defences, Tszyu became a highly touted world Champion by many boxing magazines, and many articles about him appeared on The Ring, KO Magazine and other American boxing publications.

Title defences[edit]

1997 began for Tszyu when his defense against Leonardo Moro Mas was declared a no contest because Mas' camp protested that the blow that finished their fighter in the first round was actually thrown after referee Joe Cortez had called for a break. Undecided whether it was or was not after Cortez called for a break, the IBF and the Nevada Athletic Commission decided to declare it a no contest instead. For his next bout, however, Tszyu wasn't as lucky, and he lost for the first time, losing by a knockout in ten rounds to Vince Phillips, who also took with that, Tzsyu's world championship.

After beating former world champions Calvin Grove (KO 1) and Rafael Ruelas (KO 9), Tszyu was given another world title try, when the WBC's belt became vacant in 1998 following Oscar De La Hoya's move to the welterweight division. Tszyu found himself twice on the canvas in round one of his fight for the interim belt against Diosbelys Hurtado, but recuperated to beat Hurtado by a knockout in five. He become world champion once again in 1999 by knocking out former world champion Miguel Ángel González in ten, and twice retained it in 2000, beating Arizona's fringe contender Ahmed Santos in eight, and a 38-year-old Mexican legend Julio César Chávez, the former world champion, in six at Phoenix, Arizona.

Unifying the belts[edit]

Tszyu then began pursuing his wish to unify all the belts. In 2001, he began by facing WBA Champion Sharmba Mitchell, taking the belt by a TKO after seven rounds (Mitchell suffered a knee injury in training, and during the bout). His next fight was against the German Turk, Oktay Urkal. Tszyu finished 2001 by recovering his IBF belt in a unification bout with the current champion Zab Judah, by a knockout in the second round. A small melee inside the ring followed that fight when Judah attacked referee Jay Nady for what he felt was a premature stoppage, reacting by throwing his corner's seat at the referee and even trying to choke Nady with his glove at one point. However, replays clearly show Judah walking on wobbly legs. As a result, Tszyu became the first man in 30 years to unify the belts in the light welterweight division.

Tszyu in 2002 had only one bout, beating the top-ranked contender of all three of his belts, Ben Tackie of Ghana by a decision in twelve rounds. Tszyu lost only one round on only one of the judges scorecards in a masterful display of boxing.

On 19 January 2003, Tszyu began the year by retaining his title against former world champion Jesse James Leija by a knockout in six. After the fight, held in Melbourne, Tszyu announced that fight could be his last in Australia, due to pressure from promoters to fight in the United States (The win against Leija came on the birthday of Tszyu's son.).

His first fight in 2004 was supposed to have been held on 7 February in a rematch against Sharmba Mitchell. It would have been Tszyu's first fight as a professional in Moscow, but Tszyu injured his shoulder during training. He had successful surgery to correct the problem, but the injury further extended his absence from the ring. On 6 November, he and Mitchell finally had their rematch, with Tszyu knocking Mitchell out once again, this time in three rounds. Tszyu was voted comeback fighter of the year by Ring magazine. The bout which was aired on American cable giant, Showtime, actually made the end of year highlight reel on rival cable provider, HBO. This was unprecedented.

Dethroned by Hatton[edit]

He next fought on 5 June 2005, against British boxer Ricky Hatton, Tszyu lost this fight and his world title by TKO after retiring on his stool at the end of the 11th round. He was also behind on all three cards (by 1, 3 and 5 points).

Potential Comeback[edit]

On 30 January 2007 rumours spread of a Tszyu comeback. However, there was no confirmation.

On April 2010, rumors about a possible comeback of Tszyu spread again.[2] He still continues to train and stays in shape since his 2005 loss to Ricky Hatton. On 19 April 2010, Tszyu appeared on Long Lunch Today, an Australian TV program, and during the show he denied his retirement and said he would return if a fight with Shane Mosley, Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather, Jr. could be made.[3]

Professional record[edit]

31 Wins (25 knockouts, 6 decisions), 2 Losses (2 knockouts, 0 decisions), 0 Draws, 1 No Contest[4]
Res.RecordOpponentTypeRoundDateLocationNotes
Loss31–2
1 NC
United Kingdom Ricky HattonRTD11 (12)2005-06-04England M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, United KingdomLost IBF & The Ring Light Welterweight title.
Win31–1
1 NC
United States Sharmba MitchellTKO3 (12)2004-11-06United States Glendale Arena, Phoenix, Arizona, United StatesRetained IBF & The Ring Light Welterweight title.
Win30–1
1 NC
United States Jesse James LeijaTKO6 (12)2003-01-19Australia Telstra Dome, Melbourne, Victoria, AustraliaRetained WBC, WBA (Super), IBF & The Ring Light Welterweight titles.
Win29–1
1 NC
Ghana Ben TackieUD122002-05-18United States Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesRetained WBC, WBA (Super), IBF & The Ring Light Welterweight titles.
Win28–1
1 NC
United States Zab JudahTKO2 (12)2001-11-03United States MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesRetained WBC & WBA (Super) & won IBF & vacant The Ring Light Welterweight titles.
Win27–1
1 NC
Germany Oktay UrkalUD122001-06-23United States Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, United StatesRetained WBC & WBA (Super) Light Welterweight titles.
Win26–1
1 NC
United States Sharmba MitchellRTD7 (12)2001-02-03United States Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesRetained WBC & won WBA (Super) Light Welterweight titles.
Win25–1
1 NC
Mexico Julio César ChávezTKO6 (12)2000-07-29United States Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona, United StatesRetained WBC Light Welterweight title.
Win24–1
1 NC
Mexico Ahmed SantosTKO8 (12)2000-02-12United States Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, United StatesRetained WBC Light Welterweight title.
Win23–1
1 NC
Mexico Miguel Angel GonzalezTKO10 (12)1999-08-21United States Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida, United StatesWon vacant WBC Light Welterweight title.
Win22–1
1 NC
Cuba Diosbelys HurtadoTKO5 (12)1998-11-28United States Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, United StatesWon interim WBC Light Welterweight title.
Win21–1
1 NC
United States Rafael RuelasTKO9 (12)1998-08-15United States County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas, United StatesWBC Light Welterweight Title Eliminator.
Win20–1
1 NC
United States Calvin GroveKO1 (10)1998-04-05Australia Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win19–1
1 NC
Argentina Ismael Armando ChavesTKO3 (12)1997-12-06Australia Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, AustraliaWBC Light Welterweight Title Eliminator.
Loss18–1
1 NC
United States Vince PhillipsTKO10 (12)1997-05-31United States Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United StatesLost IBF Light Welterweight title.
NC18–0
1 NC
Puerto Rico Leonardo MasNC1 (12)1997-01-18United States Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesRetained IBF Light Welterweight title.
Win18–0South Africa Jan Piet BergmanKO6 (12)1996-09-14Australia Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, AustraliaRetained IBF Light Welterweight title.
Win17–0United States Corey Johnson[disambiguation needed]KO4 (12)1996-05-24Australia Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, AustraliaRetained IBF Light Welterweight title.
Win16–0Colombia Hugo PinedaTKO11 (12)1996-01-20Australia Parramatta Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, AustraliaRetained IBF Light Welterweight title.
Win15–0United States Roger MayweatherUD121995-06-25Australia Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, AustraliaRetained IBF Light Welterweight title.
Win14–0Puerto Rico Jake RodriguezTKO6 (12)1995-01-28United States MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United StatesWon IBF Light Welterweight titles
Win13–0Dominican Republic Pedro SanchezTKO4 (10)1994-08-29Australia National Tennis Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Win12–0Puerto Rico Angel HernandezTKO7 (10)1994-05-02Australia Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win11–0Mexico Hector LopezUD101994-01-11United States Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, United States
Win10–0Saint Kitts and Nevis Livingstone BrambleUD101993-08-23Australia Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win9–0United States Robert RiveraKO1 (10)1993-06-18Australia Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win8–0United States Larry LaCoursiereTKO1 (10)1993-05-14Australia Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Win7–0The Bahamas Steve LarrimoreTKO2 (10)1993-01-30United States The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Win6–0Puerto Rico Sammy FuentesTKO1 (10)1992-11-13Australia Festival Hall, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Win5–0Argentina Daniel Ricardo CusatoTKO7 (10)1992-09-11Australia Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win4–0Puerto Rico Juan La PorteUD101992-07-23Australia Darling Harbour Convention Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win3–0Australia Tony JonesTKO2 (10)1992-05-07Australia Darling Harbour Convention Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win2–0Guyana Nedrick SimmonsKO1 (8)1992-04-02Australia Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Win1–0Australia Darrell HilesTKO1 (8)1992-03-01Australia Princes Park Football Ground, Melbourne, Victoria, AustraliaKostya's professional debut.

Records[edit]

Tszyu's record currently stands at 31 professional wins (25 by knockout), two losses and one no contest.

Personal life[edit]

Kostya and Natasha Tszyu

Tszyu married Natasha Anikina on 24 September 1993.[5] He has three children. The family live in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Tszyu's oldest son Tim, who attends Newington College, started fighting in junior amateur boxing tournaments at the age of 14 and has been very successful.[6]

Tszyu is an animal lover who owns several pets including Viking, a rottweiler who has been Tszyu's companion since he arrived in Australia; Jake, his pet diamond python; canaries and fish. Tszyu appeared with the animals on the pet show Harry's Practice in 2002.

Legal disputes[edit]

Kostya has been in several court battles with his managers. Most recently, his ex-manager Susie Bennell took him to court, alleging Kostya owed her money. Tszyu was also ordered to repay $3.5 million to his former manager Bill Mordey in an unrelated civil suit.[7] In Journalist Paul Kent's biography of long time trainer Johnny Lewis, allegations were made that Kostya had underpaid Lewis for his services. The dispute was settled out of court. Not long after the allegations were made, Kostya's personal website, which was utilised heavily by fans, was closed down. No reasons were given. In September 2012, Tszyu reportedly left his family in Australia while he moved full-time to live in Russia.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ЦЗЮ" (in Russian). RODSTVO.RU (Russian Genealogical Tree). Retrieved 1 January 2004. [dead link]
  2. ^ Vester, Mark (20 April 2010). "Kostya Tszyu Talks Ring Return, Darchinyan, More". BoxingScene.com. 
  3. ^ Vester, Mark (21 April 2010). "Tszyu Delusional, Would Return For Pacquiao, Mayweather". BoxingScene.com. 
  4. ^ Kostya Tszyu's Professional Boxing Record – BoxRec.com
  5. ^ Tszyu, Kostya; Malcolm Andrews. Kostya: My Story. Bond University Press. p. 115. ISBN 0-7333-1592-5. 
  6. ^ Smithies, Tom (18 May 2009). "Kostya Tszyu's son Tim Tszyu has boxing coaches beaming". The Daily Telegraph. 
  7. ^ The Bulletin publishes for the last time)
  8. ^ Fightbeat.com - Tszyu leaves Australia

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jake Rodriguez
IBF Light Welterweight Champion
28 January 1995 – 31 May 1997
Succeeded by
Vince Phillips
New titleWBC Light Welterweight Interim Champion
28 November 1998 – 21 August 1999
Won full title
Succeeded by
Lucas Matthysse
Preceded by
Oscar De La Hoya
Vacated
WBC Light Welterweight Champion
21 August 1999 – 19 January 2004
Stripped
Succeeded by
Arturo Gatti
New title
Unified against Sharmba Mitchell
WBA Light Welterweight Super Champion
3 February 2001 – 16 March 2004
Stripped
Succeeded by
Ricky Hatton
Preceded by
Zab Judah
IBF Light Welterweight Champion
3 November 2001 – 4 June 2005
Preceded by
Aaron Pryor
Retired
The Ring Light Welterweight Champion
3 November 2001 – 4 June 2005
Preceded by
Takeshi Fuji
Vacated
Undisputed Light Welterweight Champion
3 November 2001 – 19 January 2004
Titles fractured
Vacant