Nikita Tszyu says he has no qualms about going against tradition by walking out last for his fight against Dylan Biggs in Newcastle on Wednesday night, an act usually afforded to the reigning title holder.
Tszyu and his team have come under fire from Biggs' camp for insisting Tszyu walks out to the ring second, after Biggs does, despite the latter being the Australian super welter-weight champion.
Biggs' manager Brendon Smith said last week it would be "disgusting and disrespectful" if Tszyu walked out second.
"Dylan Biggs is the champion, Nikita Tszyu is the challenger. We will be walking out second," Smith said.
Pressed on the criticism from Biggs' camp, Tszyu was adamant he would walk out last and said it wouldn't be disrespectful.
"Not really," the Sydney fighter told the Newcastle Herald. "If we're going to be honest, it's a business decision.
"My family name is the one that's driving the ticket sales, driving the event.
"Whether he is the champion or not, I don't think it's disrespectful."
Tszyu said it wouldn't be the first time a challenger walked out second in a title fight.
"It's happened many times in the past," he said. "My brother [Tim] came out second when he fought [Joel] Camilleri [in 2019].
"[Floyd] Mayweather, not that I'm comparing myself to him, but he comes out, always, second.
"And that's simply because he is the one that's driving the event.
"It's not about the champion, it's who is the driver of the event."
Tszyu and Biggs are the headline act of the eight-fight No Limit Boxing card at Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
The pre-fight squabble about the walk-outs has become a major talking point ahead of the fight.
Tszyu, 25, holds a 7-0 record and is competing for a title for the first time in his professional career.
Biggs, a 21-year-old from Beaudesert in Queensland, is unbeaten in 10 fights.
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