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Tsyzu perfect sparmate for Manny


PhilBoxing.com



Sean Gibbons (left) and Tim Tszyu.

Australian superwelterweight champion Tim Tszyu didn’t waste time getting to work as Manny Pacquiao’s chief sparmate in preparing for the WBA welterweight unification title showdown with Keith Thurman in Las Vegas on July 20. Tszyu flew in from Sydney last Monday, sparred four rounds with Pacquiao at the Elorde Gym near MOA the next day and is set to engage the WBA welterweight titleholder in another session this afternoon.


According to Pacquiao’s assistant trainer Jonathan Penalosa, the plan is to increase the sparring rounds from four last Tuesday to possibly five today then six on Saturday. When Pacquiao leaves for Los Angeles late next week, he will have moved up to eight or 10 rounds. He’ll hit 12 rounds in L. A. then taper off a week before the fight.

On standby as Pacquiao’s sparmates are Philippine superlightweight champion Jhertiz Chavez of Cebu and Jestoni Autida of Zamboanga del Sur. Once Pacquiao extends his training rounds, he will rotate sparring partners to include Chavez and Autida. “Si Tszyu muna ka-sparring ni Boss kasi four rounds pa lang,” said Penalosa. “Ready lang sina Jheritz at Jestoni. Lagi nasa gym sila tuwing sparring. OK naman ang sparring ni Boss kay Tszyu kasi parang Thurman gumalaw.”

Australian strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune contacted Tsyzu’s handlers to check on his availability to spar with Pacquiao. Then, MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons took care of flying him over.

Australian boxing promoter Peter Maniatis described Tsyzu as a perfect sparmate for Pacquiao. “I promoted a fight for Tim last September,” said Maniatis. “He’s a fantastic talent and a good puncher. He’s 5-8, a natural superwelterweight. He has a very good chin and I’m sure he’ll handle the pressure of sparring with Manny. Tim’s a natural athlete with a soccer background. He has excellent footwork with a similar height and movement as Thurman.”

Maniatis said Tsyzu, whose father Kostya was a former world lightwelterweight champion, is a boxer-puncher with a lot of power. Tsyzu, 24, has a 13-0 record, with 10 KOs. “Outside the ring, Tim’s a very respectful young man and close to his grandfather Boris who’s Kostya’s father,” said Maniatis. “Tim’s more of a boxer than Kostya but they look alike and have the same stance. He was a former Australian amateur champion with 25 bouts before turning pro.”

Tsyzu’s manager is Glen Jennings and trainer is his uncle Igor Goloubev. “Glen is from Sydney and an old-time family friend of Kostya,” said Maniatis. “He’s known Tim since he was a child. Kostya now lives in Moscow and has remarried and started a new family but is still very close to Tim and watches his fights on a stream link. Tim’s mother Natasha lives in Sydney and never remarried.”

Tsyzu takes over from another Australian George Kambosos who was Pacquiao’s sparmate in training for Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner. Kambosos is booked to fight in Athens on June 7. “Tim and Kambosos have different styles,” said Maniatis. “They’re not alike. Kambosos is a move-forward pressure fighter while Tim likes to box and counter. Tim’s a perfect sparring partner for Manny.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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