30.05.05 – By Eddy Manning: England, the country that the royal family hails from is preparing to welcome royalty of a different kind this weekend. In the early hours of this Sunday morning ‘King’ Kostya Tszyu will step into the ring for the 34th time in his illustrious career, defending his ‘Undisputed’ Junior Welterweight crown against undefeated but untested Ricky Hatton from England.. The fight will be different to any fight that Tszyu or Hatton have ever fought in the form of a 2am start to meet American Television deadlines.
As the king makes his walk to the ring at the MEN arena in Manchester it will be business as usual on Sunday morning. With a 22,000 strong sell out English crowd against him the king is confident he will brush it aside, much like the Mexican crowd who booed Tszyu all night long in his TKO of faded legend Julio Caesar Chavez. Awaiting him will be a prime, ready but inexperienced puncher Ricky Hatton, the pride of English boxing and the man many believe will be Englands next undisputed champion.
They will have to keep waiting if Tszyu has his way. Many are expecting the fight to be bombs away early, with both fighters known ‘punchers’ it could be over early. The cold, calculating style of Tszyu could prove dangerous for Hatton if this is the case.
Hatton’s agressively exciting style is what makes him so popular in England, and Tszyu is one of the hardest and most accurate punchers in not only the Junior Welterweight division but pound for pound today. Can you understand why the fireworks are expected to explode early yet?. The American, and in this case the English press are not as quick to write off Tszyu as they had before his last fight, when he took out Sharmba Mitchell last November.
”He is spent, injuring his ailing body in training and walking into certain defeat against Mitchell” was the general consensus amongst a large number ‘experts’ prior to Tszyus re-match bout against American Sharmba Mitchell last November. Oh how much further from the truth that was. Instead of the fading champion struggling to be fully fight fit we got a brutal, unrelenting and maybe more dangerous Kostya Tszyu than we had seen before. Beating up Mitchell en-route to a 3rd round TKO and a display that made people stand up and take a look around. After of course bowing down and paying their respect to the King yet again. It’s simple etiquette for royalty!
The true mental of the young Hatton will certainly be tested by a ring-hardened Tszyu, who has been fighting for over two decades. The body shot is the money punch for Hatton, where the overhand right is Tszyus most feared weapon in the lethal arsenal. Both fighters will be coming in prime physical condition prepared for the fight of there life. For Kostya it has been buisness as usual, putting his body through hell at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra day in, day out with only Hatton on his mind. Hatton has taken the training in a different light, as it is his first ever real world title fight, he commenced training weeks earlier than usual and has been sparring both local and overseas fighters for the preparation. The renowned body punch of Ricky Hatton may be thrown right back at him come this Sunday, with Tszyu sending one of his young sparring partners- contender Kendall Holt to the canvas several times with what was reportedly a vicious barrage of body punches.
”Everyone make your own destiny, every person can make their own destiny..and thats what I’ve done” Kostya Tszyu said when he came from the brink of retirement after a knockout loss to Vince Phillps, to unifying the Junior Welterweight division by knocking out Zab Judah 4 years later. This Sunday, Tszyu has a new chapter to add to his destiny, another mountain to climb and another task that many would find daunting to say the least. For Tszyu, its all meant to be this way.
The punches will be thrown early, and you have to bet that they will land just as quick with bad intentions. Will the experience, talent and intimidation of the greatest 140 pound fighter walking the streets today be enough to defeat the young, promising and dangerous contender who many believe has his own destiny to write out. A destiny that could begin, continue or end this Sunday. Kostya will do everything like he normally does, and how could you back against that?
Line the streets, get dressed up and try to get a glimpse, The King is back in England.