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Tsyzu responds after announcer cock-up

A night Tim Tszyu ended by telling everyone to remember his first name ironically began with someone forgetting his surname.Ring announcer James O’Shea suffered an unfortunate slip-of-the-tongue while trying to pump up the crowd in Townsville as Tszyu prepared to square off with Jeff Horn.Watch selected international Boxing events Live & On-Demand on Kayo. Those…

A night Tim Tszyu ended by telling everyone to remember his first name ironically began with someone forgetting his surname.

Ring announcer James O’Shea suffered an unfortunate slip-of-the-tongue while trying to pump up the crowd in Townsville as Tszyu prepared to square off with Jeff Horn.

Watch selected international Boxing events Live & On-Demand on Kayo. Those who ordered the Tszyu-Horn fight can watch a replay until 11.59pm September 6. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

“Australia, we have waited a long time for this,” O’Shea roared. “It’s Tim Horn up against Jeff Horn. Who will be crowned the king of Australian boxing?”

About half an hour later — after he’d pummelled Horn for eight rounds — Tszyu delivered his own line much cleaner. “My name’s Tim — not the son,” Tszyu said.

RELATED: Round by round breakdown of the fight

Discrediting Tszyu’s ability by claiming he was only emerging as a big name in boxing because of his father’s exploits had been a popular ploy by his opponents, including Horn, but no one will deny he’s a star in his own right now.

The possibilities are positively endless after he not only defeated Horn, but made him look a second-rate fighter in a way only Terence Crawford — who most agree is one of the best five pound-for-pound fighters on the planet — had before.

Tszyu is determined to forge his own path in the sport after emerging from the shadow of father Kostya, the Russian-born Australian who held the undisputed light welterweight title in the early 2000s.

But he also has the opportunity to create some unique history with his father in a sport where father-son champions aren’t as common as you’d think.

Tony and Anthony Mundine are the best Australia has produced but Tony was knocked out in his only world title tilt and Anthony was never an undisputed champion despite winning belts in three weight divisions.

There are only a handful of father-son combos who have both won titles, but in most cases — including Julio Cesar Chavez, Wilfredo Vasquez, Floyd Patterson and Hector Camacho — the sons weren’t half the fighters their dads were.

Tszyu obviously has a long way to go to match the exploits of his father too, but he’s already being tipped to reach the top of the 154-pound division.

“He was incredibly impressive,” said Barry Michael, a legend of Australian boxing who knows a thing or two about winning world titles. “(It was) great to see a new era of Australian boxing open up on the world stage. Tim Tszyu can undoubtably win a world title.”

Billy Dib, another Aussie who has reached the top of the sport, also loved what he saw.

“Boxing Australia has a new star,” Dib said. “Absolutely schooled the teacher with a boxing lesson.”

But the biggest call came from American former world titleholder Paulie Malignaggi who declared Tszyu would surpass the likes of Lionel Rose, Johnny Famechon and Jeff Fenech and “go down as the best Australian-born boxer ever”.

How he goes about reaching the top is an interesting conundrum.

Many felt Tszyu was too green for Horn and he made those concerns look ridiculous. Seeking a world title bout after just 16 fights also feels a little soon, but who are we to doubt him now?

Part of his management’s decision-making will centre around what version of Horn they believed they just fought. Was it the wrecking ball that defeated a legend in Manny Pacquiao? Or a washed-up warrior who has had years taken off his career in that one-sided beating by Crawford and two wars with Michael Zerafa?

Tszyu appears to love a challenge but this is boxing, not the UFC where every fight has to be harder and harder.

With COVID impacting international travel for the foreseeable future, Tszyu can continue to grow in popularity by picking off the best of the rest in Australia — including Zerafa — and anyone else who is happy to make the journey Down Under.

“He’s only 25, he’s only had 16 fights, he doesn’t have an extensive background, he’s still learning the trade in many ways,” The Daily Telegraph’s Paul Kent said.

“He should stay as active as he can … Zerafa would be a great fight for him.”

After that WBO titleholder Patrick Teixeira is the likely foe when Tszyu attempts to grab his first world championship, but whichever way he goes he’s provided a brilliant bright spot in a year that sorely needed one.

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