Aussie boxing rising star Tim Tszyu had a pointed message for his boxing icon father in the ring — and he was even more blunt outside it.
Tszyu on Wednesday night tore Kiwi Bowyn Morgan apart before ending the fight with a brutal one-punch, walk-off first round knockout that sent his opponent falling under the lowest rope.
A clearly elated Tszyu had a message for his dad in Moscow when interviewed straight after the fight.
Looking down the camera after the second-quickest finish of his professional career, Tszyu posed a question to his father, Kostya, who was watching from Russia.
“Papa, ty schastliv?” Tim asked in his father’s native tongue, meaning “Dad, are you happy?”
It left the impression Kostya, who was a fearsome puncher who finished 25 of his 31 wins via KO, was looking for a little extra after his son completely outclassed Jeff Horn in August.
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However, Tszyu revealed in his post-fight press conference the understanding between he and his father was actually very different.
The 26-year-old even sledged his dad when revealing the Hall of Fame fighter’s pre-fight advice.
As his manager Glen Jennings revealed Tszyu Sr told his son repeatedly “don’t get hit” in the build-up to the fight, the son of a gun rolled his eyes and poked fun of the obvious statement.
“Every time. Every time before the fight. It’s the same message every time, ‘Just don’t get hit’. Yeah, thanks for the tips mate,” he said in a quip that had the reporters at the post-fight press conference in stitches.
Jennings earlier said Tszyu Sr was smiling when they spoke on FaceTime following the fight — and not because of the nature of the thunderous KO. Jennings said Tszyu Sr was able to smile because his son got the job done in just two minutes and barely had to absorb a single punch.
“I just had Kostya on the FaceTime while Tim was taking photos and we were having a laugh,” Jennings said.
“We always like to laugh… and that’s his big thing, isn’t it. That’s his message — don’t get hit. That’s all he says to Tim every time, Don’t get hit.
“And he was happy tonight.”
It came after Tszyu earlier in the press conference also fired off a barb at Michael Zerafa after the Aussie boxer confronted Tszyu on his way back to the dressing room.
Zerafa, who emerged as one of the biggest stars in Aussie boxing during his two-fight rivalry with Jeff Horn, got under Tszyu’s skin as they exchanged words surrounded by fans and security.
Zerafa walked up to Tszyu and gave him some choice words in a dispute caught on camera.
After Zerafa called Tszyu out, the super welterweight star shot back with a cold shoulder dismissal of his 28-year-old rival.
“Mate, I’ve got a world title to win,” Tszyu said before beginning to walk away.
Zerafa then continued to call Tszyu out for fighting at welterweight in a clear suggestion for Tszyu to step up to his own weight class at middleweight.
Tszyu responded by waving Zerafa off, shaking his head and walking away.
Zerafa continued to jaw away as Tszyu walked on telling Tszyu he would even come down to welterweight to make the fight happen.
“Step up,” he barked before Tszyu was no longer within ear shot.