Dwight Ritchie 19-1 (2) appeared to hit a nerve when he labelled Tim Tszyu 13-0 (10) a “home brand version” of his famous father Kostya Tszyu in recent comments to the media.
Ritchie, 27, is set to face Tszyu in a junior middleweight contest at the ICC Exhibition Centre in Sydney, NSW on Wednesday night.
‘The Fighting Cowboy’ addresses the comments at a press conference to promote the fight.
“Well I said it once and you just ran with it,” Ritchie said. “Being second to Kostya it’s not really an insult, is it? Being one of the greatest 140-pounders ever.”
Tszyu dismissed Ritchie’s attempt to downplay the comments.
“What’s there to say? I’m going to show everything on Wednesday night. I plan on making a good fight,” Tszyu said.
The 24-year-old Tszyu has spoken openly about his desire to face Jeff Horn in what would be a blockbuster domestic showdown between arguably the two biggest names in the sport in Australia.
“I think they got their plan and they are already looking at what’s next,” Ritchie continued. “But for me I only have what’s in front of me. He’s going to get the best Dwight.”
But Tszyu insisted he wasn’t looking past Ritchie and insisted fans would see the best version of himself come fight night.
“It’s a big night. I trained hard for this fight and you’re going see the best Tim come out Wednesday,” Tszyu said.
“I’m not looking past Dwight, I know what’s in front of me. I truly believe this is a little stepping-stone for bigger things to come.”
The undercard features some intriguing matchups, including super middleweight Rocky Jerkic 17-1 (13) vs Aidos Yerbossynuly 11-0 (8), Cesar Mateo Tapia 10-0 (6) vs Renold Quinlan 12-4 (8) for the Australian super middleweight title, welterweight Steve Gago 11-0 (4) vs Nursultan Zhangabayev 7-0 (5) and also at welterweight Jack Brubaker 15-2-2 (7) vs Danny Kennedy 8-0-1 (1), all over 10 heats.
“One of the biggest things we looked at was changing the perception of matchups and making sure fights were real fights,” said promoter Matt Rose of No Limit Boxing Promotions.