It's the scene every Aussie sports fan would love to witness - Tim Tszyu knocking out an opponent to win a world title and then sharing the moment inside the ring with his famous father, Kostya.

Unfortunately it's unlikely to ever happen.

The dynamic between the current star of Australian boxing - who continues his march to the top against Dennis Hogan in Newcastle tonight - and his world champion papa has more than a few layers.

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Kostya hasn't exactly been a consistent presence in Tim's life since leaving his wife and kids to start a second family in Russia about 10 years ago and you sense Tim is happy to keep it that way.

You can sense the pride Tim has in forging his own way in boxing, particularly given the early potshots he took as rival after rival claimed he was only in the spotlight because of his surname.

But there's another reason Kostya won't be on hand to witness the 26-year-old's rise to glory and it dates back to a wild night four-and-a-half years ago in Sydney.

'He's a control freak'

Kostya Tszyu pictured with his son Tim. Picture: David Swift.
Kostya Tszyu pictured with his son Tim. Picture: David Swift.

Tim hadn't seen Kostya in four years when he surprised him by flying into the Harbour City the day before his professional debut against Zorran Cassady on December 17, 2016.

Kostya took pride of place ringside the following night but quickly became a problem.

His thick Russian accent was the only voice Tim could hear as he battled through a tough six-rounder - and it irritated him.

The idea of his dad swooping in and telling him what to do didn't sit well and it's why he's more than hesitant to have it happen again, especially with the stakes raising every time he makes the walk.

"My dad is a hard man, especially when he comes to watch my fights," Tim told news.com.au this week. "He's only watched one of my fights and let me say it was … chaotic.

"My first pro fight. It was chaotic. It was hard to deal with. It was just out of control. Because he's a control freak, it's hard for him to watch someone he loves fight in the ring. Especially for him."

Kostya sits ringside at Tim's pro debut. Picture: Paul Upham
Kostya sits ringside at Tim's pro debut. Picture: Paul Upham

The family split behind Kostya's absence

Kostya and Tim, 2, in 1997.
Kostya and Tim, 2, in 1997.

Kostya doesn't speak often about Tim but insists their relationship remains tight.

"Me going to Russia has never broken any bond or any relationship with Tim," Kostya said last year.

Tim and his mother Natasha. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
Tim and his mother Natasha. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

"I can't say we chat every single day, but we are father and son. We are on the phone and we communicate on WhatsApp. I love him. I am such a proud father and I will always be proud of Tim."

But Tim's mum, Natalia, who was left to raise three children after her husband married a model who had worked as his assistant, sees it differently.

Tim got his love of boxing from his dad.
Tim got his love of boxing from his dad.

"Kostya was never in the kids' lives, Kostya disappeared from the kids' lives when he left them at a young age. The kids have built their lives without their father," she told the Daily Mail last year. "I know that some people won't want to hear this, but this is the truth."

Tim hasn't expressly banned Kostya from his fights but he doesn't know when he'll be back and if there is another surprise, the seat offered won't be within earshot of the ring.

 

Originally published as Harsh reality of Tszyu father-son dynamic


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