Rising Australian superstar Nikita Tszyu has labelled his opponent a « brat » ahead of a potentially embarrassing situation on Wednesday night.
Undefeated Australian super-welterweight champion Dylan Biggs (10-0-0) is fuming over a demand he walk out first when the pair collide at Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
Leading boxing promoters No Limit are digging their heels in over a request that Tszyu (7-0-0) walk to the ring second, despite tradition dictating it is the title holder who should walk out last.
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Tszyu is the challenger for the Australian belt but he undoubtedly boasts more drawing power in terms of pay-per-view subscriptions and ticket sales.
Both fighters are undefeated, although Biggs has more fights to his name and has the silverware to show for it.
Monday’s press conference threatened to get heated when No Limit boss George Rose refused to budge on the walkout saga.
« This is the Nikita Tszyu show, this is what we’re here for, » Rose said.
« We’re here because Nikita is a star in Australian boxing, and he’s going to fight for the Australian title on Wednesday night against the Australian champion.
« But he is the star of the show. In my opinion, yes (he will be walking out second). »
While Biggs is relatively reserved for a professional boxer, he did clap back at the Rose suggestion.
« I guess we’ll have to see. I’m not going to sit here and tell everyone what is going to happen, » Biggs said when asked if he will refuse to walk out first.
« Traditionally the champion walks second, and that’s how I think it should be. »
Biggs’ response drew the ire of Tszyu, who lambasted his opponent despite claiming not to care whether he walks out first or second.
« Stop being such a brat about it, » Tszyu fired back.
« This is the promoters, it’s their show. My promoters are the ones who are putting up the big bucks to create this event, and when you get the call to come out, you come out.
« This conversation is getting very stale. You get told to walk, and you walk. We’re going to fight no matter what. »
There then followed a tense back-and-forth between the fighters, who sat on opposite sides of press conference adjudicator Ben Damon.
BIGGS: I guess it’s too bad I don’t take instructions from Nikita Tszyu.
TSZYU: It’s from No Limit, the promoters of the event.
BIGGS: Well I guess I’m just a brat then.
TSZYU: Yeah, I’m asking you not to be a brat, (not) to tarnish the event. I’m asking, I’m not telling you, I’m asking you to not be a brat.
BIGGS: I’ll do what I want. I’m the champion and I deserve the respect of walking second.
Biggs continues, « I understand partly what George Rose and that are saying… but the belt should come before the last name ».
The Biggs camp have threatened to remain in their room and refuse to walk out first if asked to do so, leading to a potential nightmare if the Newcastle crowd is left waiting.
If the two boxers do make it to the ring fans are sure to be entertained.
From their 17 collective wins, the pair have landed 13 knockouts, and both have reputations for ending opponents early.