Gallen-Kris : Nikita Tszyu grateful for spotlight ahead of fight with Mason Smith

Nikita Tszyu walking to the ring before his debut fight.

Sometimes you get the sense that Nikita Tszyu would just as soon be called Nikita Smith, and be able to work his way up the ranks quietly – but in this country, and that surname, it’s not an option.

“That was a thought that was always going through my head when I was questioning to come back to the sport,” he told Wide World of Sports.

More than two decades after his father captivated the sporting public, both he and brother Tim are among a new breed of young fighters that are turning heads.

“I was put straight into the spotlight, but with that spotlight, there’s so many opportunities that come so I’m grateful for what I’ve been able to take from it.”

But while some critics might say that Tszyu is getting attention far beyond his 1-0 record as a fighter, he’s fully aware, and is reluctant to put himself in the category of other young stars as the future of boxing in Australia.

“I don’t feel like I’ve earned that right yet,” he said

“I’ve only had one fight, I haven’t been able to prove myself yet so I don’t want to get ahead of myself. There’s things in front of me that I need to take care of, and those obstacles are all I’ve focused on.

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