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NRL premiership winner Paul Gallen admitted he had a ‘fear of failure’ and was ‘on edge’ ahead of his Australian heavyweight title fight with Kris Terzievsky.
Speaking ahead of the fight on NRL 360, Gallen was asked to compare his nerves tonight to before a grand final.
“It’s (like a grand final). The difference is you’re on your own – you’re scared of failing on your own,” he said on fox league.
“I fear failure and going out there and being taken (down), carried on my back. There is fear there.
“But it all depends on your preparation. When I played football, I prepared very well and I do the same for boxing.
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Gallen’s last fight was last week, which means he can’t wait to step into the ring and defeat his Victorian opponent.
“I’m on edge. I’m pretty fiery, ready to go,” he said.
“I feel like I’m going out and I just want to get in there and do it. You just want to jump out of your skin and go.
‘TRIED TO KILL ME’: brutal training camp that has a ‘master’ rival ready to defeat Gal
‘MEANS A LOT’: Aussie star’s moving praise for Gal as he blasts critics who ‘want to be me’
TIM’S NERVOUS CALL ABOUT NIKITA’S SECOND FIGHT
During Nikita Tszyu’s professional boxing debut in Brisbane in March, the most nervous man in the arena wasn’t the rookie himself, it was his big brother, Tim.
The 27-year-old was in his younger brother’s corner and barked instructions throughout the fight before Nikita ended the proceedings in the second round.
The younger brother has been open about finding his feet in that first round and learning to embrace the occasion.
But for Tim, being helpless to fully control the proceedings was not a pleasant experience on what was a “strange day” for the star, although he is more relaxed now that his brother has knocked out the first fight.
“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 is on the pace now. Before, it was a little unknown.
“In my head, I thought, ‘Yeah, he’s good, but I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“Now I could see he was more comfortable and felt strong. He looks much better.
With early experience now in the rearview mirror, it allowed Nikita and her team to analyze what was done well and what they would have liked to have done differently in the future.
It seems like the younger brother has certainly made a noticeable change in Tim’s eyes.
Asked what’s different about Nikita (1-0) in the build-up to his second fight against Mason Smith (5-0), Tim replied, “Just his demeanor.”
“Nothing is a shock anymore,” Tszyu said.
“He was a virgin in the first fight. Now he has popped his cherry.
“He looks more comfortable. He looks stronger and is more comfortable in and out of the ring.
“He’s learning more about his body and the stamina part, when to put it on and break someone.
“There’s been a lot of growth in his game.”
In Nikita’s first fight, many – including Nikita himself – felt the fight ended a bit early, although there was little controversy as to who ultimately won the fight.
This didn’t allow young Tszyu to show off his growing range of skills and how he had developed after so many years away from the sport.
Against Smith, Nikita will face a tougher test, but it will also hopefully give him a chance to show what he’s learned.
Tim will once again be in his brother’s corner before flying out on Thursday morning to watch the highly anticipated rematch between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano in Los Angeles on Sunday (AEST).
But before he hops on the plane to America, he wants to see one thing from his little brother and if all goes as planned, it will end with Smith dozing on the canvas long before the final round.
“I want him to put on a mature performance,” Tszyu said.
“Nikita has all the tools in the book. He has crazy genetics. He has a crazy mind for a boxer, for an athlete. He is very obsessed with what he does. For him, he just needs to show maturity to make as few mistakes as possible.
“If I see that play out, the guy (Smith) is going to sleep after the third round.”
WORKOUT SEQUENCES THAT SHOULD WORRY GAL
Paul Gallen has started out as an almost unsustainable favorite but continues to drift in the betting markets ahead of his heavyweight title fight against Kris Terzievski in Newcastle tonight – and this view probably explains why.
Workout footage obtained by News Corp shows off Terzievski’s fearsome speed as he works the pads. The vision has made the rounds in boxing circles and highlights exactly what Gallen, 40, will face when the duo battle it out for the Australian and Australasian titles in Newcastle.
Terzievski was rated an underdog at $6.50 by some bookmakers at the start of betting, but firmed to $2.55 at TAB on Wednesday morning, with Gallen a favorite at $1.55.
Terzievski has odds of $4.50 to eliminate Gallen.
While the footage may surprise some, Gallen has hinted all week that he already knows what he’s up against. Although he admits he lacks the pure boxing talent of his 32-year-old rival, he is convinced he has the edge in terms of heart and toughness.
“You’re a pretty boxer but Wednesday is not going to be pretty, it’s going to be ugly, it’s going to be a street fight and I’m going to punch you,” Gallen told Terzievski before sensational release from Monday’s official press conference.
WEIGH-IN: Rival blasts Gal’s “squeaky” antics; Tszyu fires a cheeky shot
HUNI’S VIEWPOINT: Justis’ take on Gal’s power and ‘mind games’ advice for Terzievski
2-YEAR PLAN: Garside’s path to the title and the ‘animal instincts’ that will get him there
The fight headlines Wednesday’s blockbuster King of the Castle card which features some of the biggest names in Australian boxing.
Olympic bronze medalist Harry Garside takes on Layton McFerran in his third professional fight while Nikita Tszyu will step into the ring professionally for the second time to take on Mason Smith.
The card also features rising star Sam Goodman and Hass Hamdan, trained by Jeff Fenech.
FENECH TELLS GARSIDE TO SIT DOWN
Garside turned heads by choosing not to sit between rounds in his impressive victory over Maner Matet last month.
And while it highlighted the 24-year-old’s incredible conditioning and preparation, Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech urged him to consider sitting out in the future.
“You have to sit down, not because of fatigue or anything. Just in case you get a cut or whatever, it’s a lot easier for your corner to work,” Fenech told Garside on the Main Event preview show.
“I’m just saying, to get your mouth guard out and so you’re in a good position…but stand up – the great racehorses after they win, they take them for a ride to get them moving. Standing up makes you breathe easier… but it makes your corner a lot easier.
Garside joked that he regretted the Round 8 strategy against Matet. It remains to be seen if he will use the same tactic against McFerran.
– Date: Wednesday, May 11
– Time: Prelims from 6:30 p.m. AEST (watch via Fox Sports Channel 505 or Kayo), Main Card from 7 p.m. AEST (watch on Main Event). Expect the main event of Gallen v Terzievski to begin around 10 p.m. AEST.
– Where: Newcastle Entertainment Centre, NSW, Australia
FULL CARD AND RESULTS
MAIN CARD (from 7 p.m.)
– Paul Gallen vs. Kris Terzievski (10 rounds for the Australian and Australasian heavyweight title)
– Nikita Tszyu vs. Mason Smith (six rounds at super welterweight)
– Harry Garside vs. Layton McFerran (10 rounds for the Australian lightweight title)
– Sam Goodman vs. Fumiya Fuse (10 rounds for the IBF intercontinental and WBO Oriental super-bantamweight titles)
– Hass Hamdan vs. Trent Girdham (six rounds at welterweight)
– Sara Jalonen won. Amber Amelia via split decision
PRELIMS (from 6:30 p.m.)
– Hironiri Mishiro defeats Francis Chua by split decision
– Linn Sandstrom defeats Floryvic Montero by majority decision for the WBC Australasian super flyweight title
Follow Gallen v Terzievski and the full King of the Castle event in our live blog below!