The Tszyu name is one of the biggest in Australian boxing but Wade Ryan isn’t getting overawed by the occasion that sits before him.
Ryan grew up idolising Kostya Tszyu and now the Gunnedah boxer will be jumping in the ring with the legend’s son Tim to fight for the super welterweight WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental title on October 22.
“Growing up he [Kostya Tszyu] was one of my favourite fighters,” Ryan said.
“Just seeing what he’s done for boxing, what he’s achieved, and to get my name thrown out around his young fella’s career and his name, it’s a buzz.”
The fight in Sydney will be one of Ryan’s biggest of his career but the Gunnedah native doesn’t see it that way.
He may be enjoying the lead-up and understands taking on a fighter with the last name Tszyu brings an air of excitement but as soon as Ryan steps into the ring, it’s just him and another opponent.
“They’re all big fights. You take them all seriously. You take each fight on its own merit,” Ryan said
“This is definitely the biggest drawcard attraction – fighting a legend's son.
“Tim, he’s in hot form. He’s had six pro fights for six wins.”
With Ryan on his best winning streak of his professional career, with four wins, it’s easy to see why he’s fighting for another belt.
The boxer’s last fight was against Felipe Ferreira with Ryan winning via a unanimous decision.
Ryan’s trainer David Syphers at Black ‘N’ Blue Boxing called that fight “probably the strongest fight he’s had”.
“It was a tough fight and a good win,” Syphers said.
“It was a good lead-up fight and he had a good work rate.”
Syphers said Ryan deserved to get a shot at Tszyu.
“With all that he’s done to build himself to where he’s at, he’s ready to take on Tim Tszyu,” Syphers said.
”Tim was born in the gym. He’s lived in the gym his whole life and us country boys are going there to take him down.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Gunnedah boy take down the Tim Tszyu name.”
Ryan will drop back from the middleweight class – in which he currently holds the WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental title – for the fight.
The fight will also be over 10 rounds but neither of those aspects has the boxer worried.
“We're training for 10 good, hard rounds,” Ryan said.
“We’ve been there before [10 round fights] and looking forward to it again. We’re only a couple kilograms off now. Everything’s coming along good in preparation.”