Johnny Lewis tipping world title glory for Tim Tszyu


The great Johnny Lewis has anointed Tim Tszyu a world champion in waiting, declaring the son of a gun primed to join his legendary father in boxing's record books.

Tszyu takes on accomplished American Tony Harrison at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday bidding to become only the sixth second-generation boxer to capture a world title.

And 28 years after being in Kostya's corner for his maiden world title win at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas - when Tim was barely two months old - Lewis is convinced history will repeat.

"He'll be up for it. Tim's very confident, he always get in there fit to the hilt and he wants it very badly and I think that will be enough to get him over the line," Lewis told AAP on Saturday.

Having also guided Jeff Fenech to world titles in four different weight divisions, Lewis is unquestionably Australia's most successful boxing trainer.

Despite Harrison (29-3-1, 21KO) boasting 21 knockout wins and being the only man to beat undisputed super-welterweight king Jermell Charlo, the veteran doesn't believe the former WBC champion has enough power to trouble Tszyu.

But he says starting strong is the key for the home-town favourite, who was dropped in the opening round of his US debut last year against Terrell Gausha in Minneapolis.

"These blokes, where Tim is and where they all are, Tim's in a good place to be. His youthfulness will play a big part," Lewis predicted.

"If Tim's going OK at the halfway mark, maybe they might be happy to cruise in. But if he goes all out, there's every chance that Tim could stop him late.

"The thing is, I'm quite confident that Tim's progress throughout each fight will make him a winner either way.

"If he's doing good in the early rounds, then there's no reason why Tim can't put on an onslaught later in the fight."

Lewis says even if Tszyu loses for the first time, it's win-win for the Sydneysider.

"He'll learn from this win, lose or draw," he said.

"Look, on paper, Harrison's going to be the best fighter that he fought.

"But Tim always rises. He's been sat down a few times but he gets up. I don't think he's a real big puncher, Tim, but he's a hurtful puncher - and he's a good finisher.

"There were a couple of fights there when I wondered if he was, but I really do think he is.

"Igor (uncle and trainer Igor Goloubev) has done a really good job with him."

In a family-first, Tszyu's younger brother Nikita (4-0, 3KO) will also place his undefeated record on the line on the undercard against Tasmanian danger man Bo Belbin (7-0, 5KO).    

"This is going to be a milestone moment for us," Nikita said at Saturday's weigh-in.

"A memory that we'll share for an eternity."

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