Nikita Tszyu has preserved the family name and his unbeaten record with a sixth-round stoppage of Jack Brubaker in their super-welterweight showdown in Sydney -but it wasn’t without drama.
Making his much-hyped pay-per-view debut, Tszyu had promised violence and delivered, with the referee stopping the fight after Brubaker copped a pounding from the get-go on Wednesday night.
The TKO victory at the Horden Pavilion improved the 25-year-old’s record to six knockout wins from his seven professional bouts.
Tszyu walked out to the Vengaboys’ party anthem ‘Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom’ – which he explained afterwards was part of playlist he’d recently made.
Brubaker had been hoping to get one back on the Tszyu family after Nikita’s now-world champion brother Tim knocked him out in the fourth round four years ago.
Nikita Tszyu extended his undefeated record after beating Jack Brubaker on Wednesday night
The underdog was anything but disgraced, though, rocking Tszyu in the third round and staying on his feet throughout despite wearing a series of savage blows to the head.
‘My first pay-per-view, this was the perfect test. Jack’s a tough fighter,’ Tszyu said.
‘I was hitting him with some pretty hard shots and he was talking back to me the whole time.
‘It was a little annoying, to be honest. He’s a real tough man.
‘It was a great learning curve. I’m still learning every time I get into the ring.
‘I’m only one and a half years into my career.’
Tszyu landed three big punches to Brubaker’s head in a lively opening round to assert his authority early in the Australian super-welterweight eliminator.
Brubaker endured more punishment in the second, one brutal right in particular stunning the 31-year-old.
But Brubaker refused to back down and the fight looked to have taken a nasty turn when the pair clashed heads in the third round.
Brubaker refused to back down and the fight looked to have taken a nasty turn when the pair clashed heads in the third round
Tszyu’s right cheekbone swelled instantly and the favourite wobbled as Brubaker smelt blood.
‘I faced adversity with a headbutt and then that right hand rocked me,’ Tszyu said
‘I lost a bit of memory. All credit to him.’
Tszyu said the head clash was more annoying than anything else.
‘The head clash? That didn’t rattle me,’ he said.
‘It annoyed me because I felt like it created a cut. I didn’t realise until afterwards that there wasn’t one there … (but when it happened) I felt like there was a little bit of liquid coming out.
‘So instantly I told the ref ‘cut, headbutt, headbutt’, just in case it got stopped by the doctor. That was my main concern.’
Tszyu, though, weathered the storm and quickly had Brubaker under the gun and it was all over two minutes, 52 seconds into the sixth round.
But Tszyu weathered the storm and eventually stopped Brubaker in the sixth round
In the co-main event, former world title challenger Liam Wilson made a successful comeback from ongoing episodes of vertigo to with a unanimous points victory over previously unbeaten undefeated Argentine Carlos Maria Alanis.
Wilson hadn’t fought since suffering a hugely controversial loss to Mexican superstar Emanuel Navarrete in their WBO super featherweight title showdown in Arizona in February.
But the 27-year-old Queenslander dropped Alanis in the seventh round with a heavy left to confirm his utter dominance and claim the vacant WBO International super-featherweight strap.
The one-sided win also put Wilson (12-2, 7KOs) in the frame for a rematch with three-division champion Navarrete.