Tszyu in 2008
|Real name||Konstantin Borisovich Tszyu|
|Nickname(s)||Thunder from Down Under|
|Rated at||Light welterweight|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Reach||67 in (170 cm)|
19 September 1969 |
Serov, Russian SFSR,
|Wins by KO||25|
Konstantin Borisovich "Kostya" Tszyu (/ /; Russian: Константин (Костя) Борисович Цзю; born 19 September 1969) is a Russian-Australian former professional boxer. He is a four-time light welterweight world champion, having also spent a period of time as the undisputed champion of that division. Tszyu was a good all-around boxer, who relied heavily on accuracy and timing with his shots and carried exceptional punching power, often being regarded as one of the hardest-punching light welterweights in the division's history.
Tszyu holds notable victories over former world champions Julio César Chávez, Zab Judah and Roger Mayweather. In November 2001 he became the first champion to unify the light welterweight division in over 30 years, and is considered by many in Australia to be a national sports hero. In The Ring magazine's March 2010 issue, Tszyu was ranked as the number one junior welterweight of the 2000s decade. On 7 December 2010, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame for the Class of 2011.
- 1 Early years
- 2 Amateur career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 Professional record
- 5 Records
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Legal disputes
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Tszyu was born in Serov, a town near the Ural Mountains, in the former Soviet Union to a Korean (paternal)–Mongol (maternal) father and a Russian mother. Tszyu's father was a fitter in a metal factory, whereas his mother was a nurse.
As a child, Kostya was hyperactive, so his father decided to take him to a boxing gym, where he would channel that energy by fighting older boys. He impressed the Soviet 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. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, early the next year, 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.
Tszyu compiled an amateur record of 259-11.
- Junior European Featherweight Champion 1986 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- 2nd place at the Junior World Championships 1987 in Havanna, Cuba as a Lightweight. Results were:
- Defeated D. Boyev (Bulgaria) RSC-3
- Defeated Eduardo Rivas (Panama) KO-2
- Lost to Juan Hernández (Cuba) 1-4
- Represented the Soviet Union as a Lightweight at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Results were:
- Won the 1989 European Championships in Athens, Greece. Results were:
- competed at the World Championships 1989 in Moscow, Soviet Union. Results were:
- Defeated Mark Ramsey (Great Britain) 22-3
- Defeated Bo Espensen (Denmark) RSCH-3
- Lost to Andreas Zülow (East Germany) 14-17
- Won gold medal for the Soviet Union at 63.5 kg at the 1990 Goodwill Games
- Drew Bye in first round
- Decisioned (USA) Terron Millett 5-0
- Decisioned (USSR) Aleksandr Banin 5-0
- Won the 1991 European Championships in Göteborg, Sweden. Results were:
- Defeated Jim Pender (Great Britain) PTS
- Defeated Andreas Zülow (Germany) PTS
- Won gold medal for the Soviet Union at Light Welterweight in the 1991 World Championships in Sydney, Australia.
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 division.
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.
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
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
He next fought on 5 June 2005, against British boxer Ricky Hatton, Tszyu lost this fight and his world title by RTD (Referee technical decision) 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).
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. 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.
|31 Wins (25 knockouts, 6 decisions), 2 Losses (2 knockouts, 0 decisions), 0 Draws, 1 No Contest|
|Ricky Hatton||RTD||11 (12)||2005-06-04||M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, United Kingdom||Lost IBF & The Ring Light Welterweight title.|
|Sharmba Mitchell||TKO||3 (12)||2004-11-06||Glendale Arena, Phoenix, Arizona, United States||Retained IBF & The Ring Light Welterweight title.|
|Jesse James Leija||TKO||6 (12)||2003-01-19||Telstra Dome, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia||Retained WBC, WBA (Super), IBF & The Ring Light Welterweight titles.|
|Ben Tackie||UD||12||2002-05-18||Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Retained WBC, WBA (Super), IBF & The Ring Light Welterweight titles.|
|Zab Judah||TKO||2 (12)||2001-11-03||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Retained WBC & WBA (Super) & won IBF & vacant The Ring Light Welterweight titles.|
|Oktay Urkal||UD||12||2001-06-23||Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Retained WBC & WBA (Super) Light Welterweight titles.|
|Sharmba Mitchell||RTD||7 (12)||2001-02-03||Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Retained WBC & won WBA (Super) Light Welterweight titles.|
|Julio César Chávez||TKO||6 (12)||2000-07-29||Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona, United States||Retained WBC Light Welterweight title.|
|Ahmed Santos||TKO||8 (12)||2000-02-12||Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Retained WBC Light Welterweight title.|
|Miguel Angel Gonzalez||TKO||10 (12)||1999-08-21||Miccosukee Indian Gaming Resort, Miami, Florida, United States||Won vacant WBC Light Welterweight title.|
|Diosbelys Hurtado||TKO||5 (12)||1998-11-28||Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, United States||Won interim WBC Light Welterweight title.|
|Rafael Ruelas||TKO||9 (12)||1998-08-15||County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas, United States||WBC Light Welterweight Title Eliminator.|
|Calvin Grove||KO||1 (10)||1998-04-05||Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia|
|Ismael Armando Chaves||TKO||3 (12)||1997-12-06||Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia||WBC Light Welterweight Title Eliminator.|
|Vince Phillips||TKO||10 (12)||1997-05-31||Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Lost IBF Light Welterweight title.|
|Leonardo Mas||NC||1 (12)||1997-01-18||Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Retained IBF Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||18–0||Jan Piet Bergman||KO||6 (12)||1996-09-14||Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia||Retained IBF Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||17–0||Corey Johnson||KO||4 (12)||1996-05-24||Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia||Retained IBF Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||16–0||Hugo Pineda||TKO||11 (12)||1996-01-20||Parramatta Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia||Retained IBF Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||15–0||Roger Mayweather||UD||12||1995-06-25||Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia||Retained IBF Light Welterweight title.|
|Win||14–0||Jake Rodriguez||TKO||6 (12)||1995-01-28||MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Won IBF Light Welterweight titles|
|Win||13–0||Pedro Sanchez||TKO||4 (10)||1994-08-29||National Tennis Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Win||12–0||Angel Hernandez||TKO||7 (10)||1994-05-02||Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia|
|Win||11–0||Hector Lopez||UD||10||1994-01-11||Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, United States|
|Win||10–0||Livingstone Bramble||UD||10||1993-08-23||Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia|
|Win||9–0||Robert Rivera||KO||1 (10)||1993-06-18||Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia|
|Win||8–0||Larry LaCoursiere||TKO||1 (10)||1993-05-14||Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia|
|Win||7–0||Steve Larrimore||TKO||2 (10)||1993-01-30||The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee, United States|
|Win||6–0||Sammy Fuentes||TKO||1 (10)||1992-11-13||Festival Hall, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Win||5–0||Daniel Ricardo Cusato||TKO||7 (10)||1992-09-11||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Win||4–0||Juan Laporte||UD||10||1992-07-23||Darling Harbour Convention Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Win||3–0||Tony Jones||TKO||2 (10)||1992-05-07||Darling Harbour Convention Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Win||2–0||Nedrick Simmons||KO||1 (8)||1992-04-02||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Win||1–0||Darrell Hiles||TKO||1 (8)||1992-03-01||Princes Park Football Ground, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia||Kostya's professional debut.|
Tszyu's record currently stands at 31 professional wins (25 by knockout), two losses and one no contest.
Tszyu married Natasha Anikina on 24 September 1993. He has three children; Anastasia, Nikita and Tim. His family still reside in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. In September 2012, Tszyu reportedly left his family in Australia while he moved full-time to live in Russia.
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.
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. 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.
- ЦЗЮ (in Russian). RODSTVO.RU (Russian Genealogical Tree). Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2004.
- Tszyu, Kostya; Malcolm Andrews. Kostya: My Story. Bond University Press. ISBN 0-7333-1592-5.
- Vester, Mark (20 April 2010). "Kostya Tszyu Talks Ring Return, Darchinyan, More". BoxingScene.com.
- Vester, Mark (21 April 2010). "Tszyu Delusional, Would Return For Pacquiao, Mayweather". BoxingScene.com.
- Kostya Tszyu's Professional Boxing Record – BoxRec.com
- Tszyu, Kostya; Malcolm Andrews. Kostya: My Story. Bond University Press. p. 115. ISBN 0-7333-1592-5.
- Fightbeat.com - Tszyu leaves Australia
- The Bulletin publishes for the last time
|IBF Light Welterweight Champion
28 January 1995 – 31 May 1997
|New title||WBC Light Welterweight Interim Champion
28 November 1998 – 21 August 1999
Won full title
Oscar De La Hoya
|WBC Light Welterweight Champion
21 August 1999 – 19 January 2004
Unified against Sharmba Mitchell
|WBA Light Welterweight Super Champion
3 February 2001 – 16 March 2004
|IBF Light Welterweight Champion
3 November 2001 – 4 June 2005
|The Ring Light Welterweight Champion
3 November 2001 – 4 June 2005
|Undisputed Light Welterweight Champion
3 November 2001 – 19 January 2004