Grudge match: Tszyu’s next fight with camp Fenech
They've had a rocky past, but legendary boxers Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu are unlikely to get into a personal slanging match as they prepare their respective fighters for a fascinating showdown in December.
Tszyu will be in the corner of his rising star son Tim Tszyu, who will take on Cronulla brawler Jack Brubaker, who is now being trained by Fenech.
Tszyu senior and Fenech are two of the most famous pugilists to have represented Australia on the world stage, but their relationship has been strained since 2006 when Fenech accused Tszyu of screwing him out of a financial deal over wholesale boxing gloves.
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"This has nothing to do with me and Kostya," Fenech told The Daily Telegraph.
"I am just trying to help a young Australian who is chasing his dream.
"Kostya came to this country because of me, I was the one who made him a multi-millionaire, all the Sky deals he did through the Packers was because of me.
"He had seen what I'd done here and he came over. Kostya Tszyu was the greatest person in his division ever, if he was fighting today he would be a 10-time world champion. Kostya was one of the greatest fighters ever."
Fenech began training 27-year-old Brubaker (16-2-2, 8KO) three weeks ago for the clash against undefeated Tszyu (14-0, 10KO) at the 8000-seat First State Super Theatre in Darling Harbour's International Convention Centre on December 6.
"Jack's got the opportunity of a lifetime, he believes in himself and we've got plans in place to pull off a huge upset," Fenech said.
"There's no doubt Tim will be the favourite but that's fine, I love being the underdog and proving people wrong.
"Jack has been in a lot of wars that he hasn't needed to be in because he hasn't been shown the right disciplines, but if he keeps improving the way he has been improving he's going to get better.
"There is not a thing I've asked him to do that he hasn't done."
Fenech will take Brubaker as part of an 11-man contingent of sparring partners and trainers to Bangkok, Thailand next week for a camp in the humidity.
For Tszyu, who defeated Dwight Ritchie last month to claim the IBF Australasia super-welterweight title, the bout against Brubaker will lead in to his majorly anticipated showdown against Jeff Horn early next year.
After suffering a shock loss to Michael Zerafa three weeks ago, Horn is now actively chasing the fight against Tszyu, but is likely to have a tune-up fight later this year.
The Tszyu-Brubaker fight will be officially announced at a press conference on Thursday morning at which Kostya Tszyu will make a rare appearance, given he lives in Moscow and spends the majority of time in his native Russia.