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During Nikita Tszyu’s professional boxing debut in Brisbane in March, the most nervous man in the arena wasn’t the first-timer himself, it was his big brother, Tim.
The 27-year-old was in his younger sibling’s corner and barked out instructions throughout the fight before Nikita ended proceedings in the second round.
The younger sibling has openly spoken about finding his feet in that first round and learning to deal with the occasion.
But for Tim, being helpless to fully control proceedings was not an enjoyable experience on what was a “weird day” for the star, although he’s more relaxed now that his brother has gotten the first fight out of the way.
“The first fight, f***, I didn’t know how to react,” Tszyu told foxsports.com.au.
“I was nervous. It was a weird day for me.
“Nikita’s in the groove now. Before, it was a bit of the unknown.
“In my head I was thinking, ‘Yes, he’s good, but I don’t know what’s going to happen.’
“Now, I could see he’s more comfortable and he feels strong. He’s looking a lot better.”
With the experience of the debut now in the rear view mirror, it’s allowed Nikita and his team to analyse what was done well and what they would have liked to have done differently going forward.
It appears that the younger brother has certainly made one notable change in the eyes of Tim.
When quizzed on what’s different about Nikita (1-0) in the build-up to his second fight against Mason Smith (5-0), Tim responded: “Just his demeanour.”
“Nothing is a shock anymore,” Tszyu said.
“He was a virgin in the first fight. Now, he’s popped his cherry.
“He looks more comfortable. He looks stronger and is more comfortable in and out of the ring.