Konstantin Borisovich "Kostya" Tszyu (Константин (Костя) Борисович Цзю, in Australian English) (born September 19 1969) is a Russian-born boxer of mixed Russian, Korean and Mongol descent. He holds both Russian and Australian citizenship and is a four time world junior welterweight champion, including a period of time as the undisputed junior welterweight champion.
The son of a fitter in a metal factory and a nurse, Tszyu was born in Serov, a town near the Ural Mountains, in the former Soviet Union. Tszyu was the first champion to unify the junior welterweight division in over 30 years.
Tszyu was hyperactive as a child, and his father decided to take him to a boxing gym, where he would channel that energy by fighting older boys. He impressed Russia's amateur team coaches and he was sent to the Soviet Union's amateur boxing travelling training camps, where he was able to visit more than 30 countries while training and fighting in tournaments. He trained with that group 250 days a year, and won various tournaments, such as amateur boxing's world championships. He also participated in the 1988 Olympic Games. At the Cuban world championship tournament in 1987, he came in second place, and at the Seoul Olympic games, he lost in the third round.
Tszyu was a member of the Soviet military too, but since he was selected as an elite athlete, he was not required to participate in combat. He fought at the world championships once again, in Moscow in 1989, where he came in third place.
In 1991, he went again to the amateur world championships, this time held in Sydney. This was a trip that would change his life forever. Not only was the third time his charm, but he felt enchanted with the sights of Sydney and its people, and decided he wanted to live in Australia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1992, Tszyu fled to Australia with his girlfriend, where they married in 1993 and became Australian citizens. Before marrying her, though, Tszyu had already turned professional, beating Darrell Hiles by a knockout in one round on March 1 1992, at Melbourne.
In 1994, Hector Lopez, Angel Hernandez (who had just come off of a loss after challenging Julio César Chávez for the WBC belt), and Pedro Chinito Sanchez from the Dominican Republic tried to beat Tszyu, but Tszyu beat Lopez by a decision in ten, Hernandez by a knockout in seven, and Sanchez by a knockout in four. After the win against Sanchez, Tszyu was ranked number one in the Jr. Welterweights.
After beating former world champions Calvin Grove (KO2) and Rafael Ruelas (KO9), Tszyu was given another world title try, when the WBC's belt became vacant in 1998 following Oscar de la Hoya's move to the Welterweight division, and Tszyu found himself twice on the canvas in round one of his fight for the vacant belt against Diosbelys Hurtado, but recuperated to beat Hurtado by a knockout in five and become world champion once again. He retained the title once in 1999, knocking out former world champion Miguel Angel Gonzalez in ten, and twice in 2000, beating Arizona's fringe contender Ahmed Santos in eight, and a 38 year old Mexican legend Julio César Chávez, the former world champion, in six at Phoenix, Arizona.
Tszyu in 2002 had only one bout, beating the top-ranked contender of all three of his belts, Ben Tackie of Ghana by a decision in twelve rounds. Tszyu won every round on each one of the judges scorecards in a masterful display of boxing.
On January 19 2003, Tszyu began the year by retaining his title against former world champion Jesse James Leija by a knockout in six. After the fight, held in Melbourne, Tszyu announced that fight could be his last in Australia, due to pressure from promoters to fight in the United States. (The win against Leija came on the birthday of Tszyu's son.)
His first fight in 2004 was supposed to have been held on February 7 in a rematch against Sharmba Mitchell. It would have been Tszyu's first fight as a professional in Moscow, but Tszyu injured his shoulder during training. He had successful surgery to correct the problem, but the injury further extended his absence from the ring. On November 6, he and Mitchell finally had their rematch, with Tszyu knocking Mitchell out once again, this time in three rounds. Tszyu was voted comeback fighter of the year by Ring magazine. The bout which was aired on American cable giant, Showtime, actually made the end of year highlight reel on rival cable provider, HBO. This was unprecedented.
Egypt's President Claims New Powers, Fiscal Cliff Looms in Washington; Larry Hagman Dies in Dallas at the Age of 81; News
Nov 24, 2012; (COMMERCIAL BREAK) DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Especially if you're a heart patient, you should talk to your...
Tyson-Ruddock bout KO'd; Holyfield next? (Mike Tyson-Donovan Ruddock fight cancelled; Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield match set)
May 20, 1991; Tyson-Ruddock Bout KO'd; Holyfield Next? NEW YORK -- In a surprising development, the June 28 Mike Tyson-Donovan "Razor" Ruddock...