Nikita Tszyu knows all about being the outsider.
The younger Tszyu’s introduction into the world of professional boxing has been unconventional, even with all the advantages a famous surname brings.
His path to a potential national title could be just as unconventional, when he takes on Australian super welterweight champion Dylan Biggs in Newcastle on Wednesday night.
Tszyu was working as an architect after earning his university degree in but eventually took on the family trade in a move that has earned him an undefeated record in seven fights.
He doesn’t look like a boxer and his verbage is not that of a fighter.
Yet Tszyu told Wide World of Sports his unassuming look and the narrative surrounding his rise to what could be a national belt on Wednesday, has helped him inside and outside the ring.
“I don’t look like a tough guy. I’ve got a baby face. I get called a lesbian sometimes. People underestimate a lot. I like that,” he told WWOS.
“I have scars all over my knuckles because of street fights during university when I was away from boxing.
“I haven’t had many street fights. I’ve had one or two. They were pretty easy. They dropped very quick.”
And he hopes the bout against Biggs will be over just as fast, however this bout shapes as Tszyu’s most difficult to date.
Upon his decision to get back into the sport after some time in the amateurs, Tszyu took to the ring with Biggs for a sparring session, and things did not go to plan.
“I’ve spoken about it a million times already, it’s a little annoying. This will be my last time talking about it,” Tszyu explained.
“He caught me with a punch that wasn’t necessarily hard or damaging. I was off balance, I was walking in with no defence and I just fell on my arse, nothing to it.
“It was also my first few months back in the sport after eight years off. I was still very, very raw. I still had no idea about a lot of things.
“We always just kind of jump into the deep end and go in for the tough stuff. The way you learn is by having these low moments.
“And it’s those moments that teach you about yourself. I’m very happy with the sparring that we had.
“Not so much from the lessons that I learnt from it, he brought more attention to my skills and my craft that I needed to work on to improve.”
Tszyu said he never went looking for Biggs, rather his management came to him with the idea and he accepted. As for exacting revenge for the difficult sparring session, Tszyu refused to buy into that notion, rather pointing to his progression as a fighter.
“We’re a little bit more familiar about ourselves. We understand how we do things. It’s like fighting one of your sparring partners.
“We usually have them in rotation and you get to know them and you adapt to them. In a way it’s like having another round with an old sparring partner.”
Both men made weight on Tuesday – with Tszyu coming in a touch heavier at 69.6kg with Biggs at 69.46kg.
How to watch Nikita Tszyu vs Dylan Biggs
The Tszyu vs Biggs fight card will be available live on Fox Sports, Main Event, and Kayo.
Where is Nikita Tszyu vs Dylan Biggs?
Tszyu vs Biggs takes place at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
The venue has been kind to the Tszyu family in the past with Nikita recording knockout wins over Mason Smith and Darkon Dryden.
The Tszyu family are 9-0 in Newcastle.
Betting odds for Nikita Tszyu vs Dylan Biggs
Head to head – Tszyu $1.60 favourite
Biggs is $2.32
Nikita Tszyu record, bio
Height: 5’10” (177cm)
Reach: 70” (178cm)
Total fights: 7
Record: 7-0 with 6 wins via knockout
Dylan Biggs record, bio
Height: 6′ 1” (187cm)
Reach: 74” (187cm)
Total fights: 10
Record: 10-0 7 by knockout
FULL FIGHT CARD
Nikita Tszyu v Dylan Biggs — for Australian super welterweight title
Issac Hardman v Troy Coleman — for WBO intercontinental middleweight title
Jason Fawcett v Jordan Martin — super welterweight
Mounir Fathi v Joel Pavlides — middleweight
Liam Talivaa v Brandon Grach — heavyweight
Mark Schleibs v Shamal Ram Anuj — super bantamweight
Amber Amelia v Natasha Kurene — super bantamweight
Brent Walton v Dharringarra Trewhella — welterweight