Some folks in Australia think that Nikita Tszyu has a bigger upside than his older brother. That’s high praise as Tim Tsyzu is currently the WBO interim champion at 154 pounds and is expected to be elevated to a full champion now that his longtime quarry Jermell Charlo has abandoned the division for a lucrative match with Canelo Alvarez.
Tonight in Sydney, New South Wales, Nikita, 25, pushed his record to 7-0 (6 KOs) with a sixth-round stoppage of countryman Jack Brubaker. This was no stroll in the park, however, as Tzyu had an anxious moment in round four when a clash of heads caused an immediate swelling of his right cheekbone and he ate a big right hand before the round was finished.
A four-time national amateur champion and unlike his brother a southpaw, Nikita was coaxed back to boxing after stepping away from the sport for five years to pursue a college degree in architecture. Those that consider him a harder puncher than his more well-known sibling conceded that considered a bigger puncher than Tim, but there are questions about whether he will stay dedicated to the sport.
Jack Brubaker, 17-4-2 (8 KOs), is now 0-2 vs. the Tszyu family. In December of 2019, Tim stopped him in the fourth round. He returned to the ring last month after a 27-month hiatus and won a 6-round “shake-off-the-rust” fight against a fellow Australian, but he needed to shake off a lot more rust to beat a fellow named Tszyu.
The official time was 2:52 of round six.
In the co-feature, a 10-round super featherweight contest, Liam Wilson (12-2, 7 KOs) knocked down Argentina’s Carlos Maria Alanis (12-1) with his vaulted left hook in the seventh round, but the defensive-minced Alanis, who hadn’t previously fought outside Argentina, got to his feet and was upright when the final bell sounded and Wilson had to be satisfied with winning a lopsided decision. The scores were 98-91 and 100-89 twice.
It was Wilson’s first start since Feb. 3 when he came up short in his title fight with Emanuel Navarrete. In Australian lore, that contest in Glendale, Arizona, stands as one of the biggest rip-offs in Australian sports history.
To refresh your memory, Wilson put Navarrete on the canvas in round four with his signature left hook and Navarrete was in dire straits. Navarrete pulled himself upright and was holding on to the ropes when he spit out his mouth shield. Referee Chris Flores put it back in, but upside down and had to reinsert it. Twenty-seven precious seconds elapsed before the fight resumed and Navarrete went on to TKO the Aussie in the ninth frame,
Had Wilson prevailed, it would have been the biggest upset by an Australian boxer in a title fight on America soil since 1989 when Jeff Harding dethroned WBC light heavyweight champion Dennis Andries in Atlantic City. (Akin to Liam Wilson, Harding, 14-0 heading in, was a late sub, he filled in for Donny Lalonde whereas Wilson was subbing for Oscar Valdez.)
Prior to meeting Navarrete, Wilson’s only loss came at the hands of Filipino campaigner Joe Noynay and he avenged that setback in a rematch. Needless to say, he has been campaigning for a rematch with Navarrete.