Kosta Tszyu hasn’t fought much in recent years, but when the
35-year-old welterweight does step into the ring, it’s for maximum
with regard to both his bank balance and overwhelmingly to the physical
detriment of his latest opponent.

It’s easy to be blasé about a truly great boxer who, while Russian born,
has fought his entire professional career as an adopted Aussie since
arriving here in 1991, has his family roots and citizenship in
this country, and has remained at the top of his professional sport for a
decade as world champion. That includes knocking out of 12 of his
15 world title opponents in that time.

This Sunday he again puts his world IBF title on the line in front of a
hostile sold out 22,000 in Manchester when he takes on English
challenger, Ricky “Hitman” Hatton that will be staged at the unlikely
hour of 2am local time to maximise its appeal to a US pay-per-view TV
boxing audience.

In the pre-fight talk, the 26-year-old Hatton says he’s in the
best shape of his life, and has been
training in the wee small hours to adjust his body.

Kosta said: “I’ve fought in fighters’ backyards before and I love the buzz of
being an outsider. Hatton has a great following but none of his
fans will be taking my punches. I want everybody to remember me
when it’s over and leave knowing that their hero lost to a great

No-one in world boxing doubts that Tszyu is one of the greats. Losing on Sunday won’t change that, while another victory will
only further cement his reputation.

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