Nikita Tszyu Preps for Las Vegas With a Five-Round Blast-Out of Dylan Biggs


By Arne K. Lang

Some folks in Australia are of the opinion that Nikita Tszyu has a bigger upside than his older brother Tim, the reigning WBO 154-pound world title-holder. Time will tell, but Nikita, 25, is carving out his own legacy. Today in Broadmeadow, New South Wales, Australia, Nikita copped the Australian super welterweight title with a stoppage of Dylan Biggs who was pulled out by the referee after five rounds. With the victory, the younger Tszyu brother advanced his record to 8-0 (7 KOs).

As in his previous fight vs Jack Brubaker, Tszyu had an anxious moment. In the opening minute of the fight, he was floored by a straight right hand. In the post-fight interview, he likened the punch to the cup of coffee that he needs to get going in the morning.

This was a competitive fight through the first three rounds, but turned sharply in Tszyu’s favor in the fourth. In the next stanza, Tszyu put Biggs on the canvas with a wicked left hook to the liver. Biggs made it to his feet, but the end was imminent.

Acquiring a domestic title in Australia is no great feat. Dylan Biggs, a 21-year-old Queenslander, acquired the belt with an 8-round decision over a fighter with a 4-2 record. Heading in, Biggs was undefeated (10-0, 7 KOs) but that record was achieved against opponents who were collectively 35-42-5. But Biggs was no slouch. He appeared to fracture his wrist early in the fight but kept punching and went out on his shield.

As noted by combat sports photojournalist Amy A. Kaplan, the Tszyu family is now 48-0 in Australian rings. Nikita’s father Kostya Tszyu, a first ballot Hall of Famer, was 18-0. Tim forged 22 of his 24 wins at Australian venues.

What’s next for the Tszyu brothers?

In the works is a March 1 card in Las Vegas at which both brothers would appear. A logical opponent for Tim would be England’s Josh Kelly assuming that he gets by South Africa’s unsung Roarke Knapp next month. A former Olympian with a 14-1-1 record, Kelly is ranked #1 at 154 by the WBO which says more about the WBO than about Kelly. Nikita’s advisors are targeting Nico Ali Walsh, a middleweight by trade.

There’s a back story to that Match 1 date. It comes on the eve of a National Rugby League doubleheader at the home of the Las Vegas Raiders, an event that will mark the advent of the season for the Antipodean league which includes an entry in New Zealand. The Sydney Roosters meet the Brisbane Broncos in the featured scrum.

Las Vegas has become quite the destination for international sporting events. The recently concluded Formula 1 race purportedly pumped more than $1 billion into the local economy.