Sunday Territorian 7 Nov 2021
Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
40 SPORT SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Tszyu shapes up to dads reputationTHUG ROSE PREDICTS MORE TEARS OF UFC JOY SO, ahead of her rematch with Chinese monster Zhang Weili at UFC 268 on Sunday, you ask UFC champ Rose Namajunas how it feels to make Joe Rogan cry? After all, this is no small thing. Especially given Rogan, that famed fight commentator and podcaster to some 11 million people, has spent almost 20 years inside steel cages across the planet interviewing who knows how many warriors, winners, champions, even the beaten, bloodied and vanquished yet only once shed tears. Specifically, when holding a microphone up to Namajunas in April. Back when the diminutive Denver slugger, a fighter who had already won, then lost the womens strawweight crown, went and earned it back once more in the most spectacular of ways by head kicking Weili right out of her consciousness. Which is how it goes with the Ballad of Thug Rose. This 52kg question mark who plays piano, attends church, journals and just happens to be among the baddest women to ever enter cages for cash. An artist, is how Namajunas describes herself, right before predicting a finish for her rematch with Weili. Punch her in the face, Namajunas says. Then take her back and choke her out. Quizzed on what it is about her fighting style, and fight full stop, that brings a guy like Rogan to tears, she says: I guess, I dont approach fighting the same way most people do. I take an artistic approach. So maybe thats why? Because the definition of art, its a skill or craft you really hone to emotionally move people. And thats exactly what Im doing fighting. Speaking about his interviewing of Namajunas after the Weili win, Rogan said on his podcast recently: It was this amazing thing. They give her the title and when Im talking to her, shes emotional, shes crying Im crying. I cried. I totally cried. This is the first time I ever cried during an interview. And why? Its someone trying to overcome all the obstacles that are in play when youre trying to be great, he said. Then soon after: Theres nothing about her thats aggressive, nothing brutish. Which is why this Sunday inside Madison Square Garden, on a blockbuster card boasting headliners Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, plus the lightweight banger that is Justin Gaethje versus Michael Chandler, Thug Rose could conceivably steal the show. That, and make people feel. And its weird, man, Namajunas concedes. Really cool, but weird. Still, what was it like to see Rogan so visibly moved by a moment that was effectively you kicking another womans lights out? Thats insane, the champ agrees. I mean, hes seen a lot of crazy stuff. WITH every fight, every training session, every punch thrown, Tim Tszyu is shedding more of expectations weight. Not so much in his own mind as that of the observers who see his father in his face and ring potential. It was 20 years ago this week that Kostya Tszyu drilled Zab Judah in round two to join Lionel Rose as Australias second unified boxing world champion. His eldest son marked the anniversary by sparring 13 rounds in a steamy inner-Sydney gym; adding one extra to his usual 12 because in the sweet science there are no unlucky numbers, just exposure for shortcuts. No offence to Dad, but well see where we can go, Tszyu said. Approaching his 20th pro fight, and already ranked No.1 by the WBO in the super-welterweight division, Tszyu (19-0, 15KO) is on the verge of matching his fathers feat. Its expected that WBA, WBC and IBF champion Jermell Charlo will have a rematch with WBO champion Brian Castano for the unified titles next February, after they drew in their first clash. With Tszyu being a mandatory challenger and provided there are no slip-ups against Japanese rival Takeshi Inoue (17-1-1, 10KO) on November 17 at Sydneys Qudos Bank Arena he would be in prime position to challenge the Charlo-Castano winner for all four belts next year. What a story it would be for son to emulate father as unified world champion, as rare in boxing as unified scorecards. I never really compared myself to Dad, Ive always done it for myself, Tszyu said. But I find it exciting that its so close. Im proud of what Dad did, he is a legend and always will be. But you know what? The momentum is changing. People wont be saying, Youre Kostyas son. Theyll be coming up to him saying, Youre Tim Tszyus dad. Thats my goal. Tszyu turned 27 this week, but clearly remembers watching from his Sydney lounge room as his dad became king of the light-welterweight division. I was in year 1, he said. Aussie fighter Tim Tszyu has plans for world boxing domination. 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