Tim Tszyu can’t ignore his last name, and quite frankly, he’d be silly to.

Tszyu carries a whole lot of weight in world boxing, and has undoubtedly opened doors for the 24-year-old, who is set to headline a pay-per-view card on Australian soil after just 12 professional fights.

Finding that balance between taking advantage of the Kostya legacy, but also paving his own path, hasn’t always been easy for Tim, who fights Joel Camilleri for the Australian super welterweight title on Wednesday, May 15 at the Star Casino in Sydney.

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“At first it was [a battle], Tszyu told foxsports.com.au. “Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, that Kostya’s son’ … but the tide’s changing.

“It’s going more like, ‘That’s Tim; that’s not just Kostya’s son — that’s Tim.’

“I eventually, what I want to get to, is people coming up to my dad, saying, ‘Oh, you’re Tim’s dad.’ That’s my goal.”

The last major all-Australian boxing pay-per-view event saw Jeff Horn finish Anthony Mundine in 96 seconds. The reality of a 43-year-old, past his prime Mundine still being one of the biggest draws in the country is a problem, but one Tszyu is ready to fix.

“Pressure’s good,” Tszyu said of his new status in Aussie boxing. “Without pressure, you’ve really got nothing that motivates you. A little bit of pressure is fine, I know how to deal with it.

“That pressure just motivates me to train harder, to wake up every morning.

“I’ve always got that goal set for myself that every fight from now is going to be a big one, and it’s going to be in front of everyone.

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity, because again, no one gets this opportunity. Mundine had it, before then it was my dad, and then who else is there? There hasn’t been any Main Event stars, for me to get on board is truly a blessing.”

Tszyu.

Tszyu.Source: News Corp Australia

In the month since Tszyu’s title fight was announced as a pay-per-view event, he has grown to become more comfortable being the personality that Australia needs to get to know before they can pledge their support, and their money. And while Kostya has done a couple of interviews in the lead-up, he has stayed in Russia while his son learns the ropes of being a star.

“First of all, my dad is family and that’s his No. 1 position as a father,” Tszyu said.

“We don’t have to mix him up in business. We keep him involved — he knows everything that’s going on — but he’s not in there controlling, telling us what to do; there’s a difference.

“We keep our father and son relationship personal, and then business is business. You can’t mix those two together. That’s a recipe for disaster.”

Since committing to boxing, an uber-focused Tszyu has made every decision with an eye towards being a champion.

“You go through different periods of your life, but I always knew this boxing was what I wanted,” Tszyu said

“From a young age I remember watching boxers come in, watching the fights on Sunday. I think it’s a real tradition to watch big fights on Sunday. You know, from the early days: I remember watching Tyson, the heavyweights; that era. You know, I’ve always dreamt of about one day, ‘I’d love to be on that side.’

“So now, I’m presented with that opportunity to be on that side, to headline my own card, and you know, from here on, the sky’s the limit. You can go all the way to the top. I’m only young, 24 years old, I’ve got my whole life ahead of me.”

Tszyu’s set on becoming a superstar on home soil before jetting off to pursue bigger, shinier things elsewhere.

“I think there’s plenty of time for America,” Tszyu said.

“I think I have to establish myself here first in Australia — become a big pay-per-view draw, so when I do go to America in the future where of course there will be the world titles and all of that, I’m not just going to be there to perform, but I’ll have a whole stadium packed with Aussies, with Russians, with everyone around the world, fans of myself, and for big fights.

“That’s something that I’ve always wanted.”

First though, he has to get past a champion in Camilleri, who will be relishing the opportunity to put a stop to the Tszyu hype train before it leaves the station.

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