Tim Tszyu says he is determined "to suck the soul out" of Brisbane-based Irishman Dennis Hogan and create his own piece of family history in his "home away from home" of Newcastle on March 31.
It was announced on Tuesday that Tszyu, undefeated in 17 professional bouts, will take on Hogan at Newcastle Entertainment Centre, where his father, Kostya, had a perfect record from seven fights in the 1990s on his way to multiple world titles.
Tszyu, 26, and three-time world title challenger Hogan, 35, were at Fort Scratchley on Tuesday to formally announce the bout, which they hope will be held in front of a sold-out crowd.
Hogan is trying to return to the world stage after back-to-back defeats overseas in title fights, while Tszyu is working towards a first shot, potentially at the WBO junior middleweight belt.
Tszyu has retained his IBF Australasian and WBO Global light-middleweight titles with devastating TKOs of Jack Brubaker, former world champion Jeff Horn and Bowyn Morgan in his past three fights. He was confident of repeating the dose against Hogan, who has only three losses - all in world title challenges - in 32 bouts.
"I see another confident opponent, who's not underestimating me, but doesn't know what they are running in to," Tszyu said.
"And that's the best thing about boxing, is that once you get in the ring, everything from before, everything after, everything just shuts away and it's just you and your opponent in that particular moment.
"And you are able to suck the soul out of them and take away everything that they've ever believed. Again, that's my goal, to take their soul and their belief and everything that they've ever worked for and everything they would have had in that particular moment
"Again, it's not just a 'W', it's taking everything away."
Tszyu's manager, Novocastrian Glen Jennings, was part of Kostya's support crew and he was the driving force in bringing another major fight to the city.
"My manager Glen lives here so I've always been coming here for visits and it's just like a home away from home," Tim said. "And the fact I get to fight here in front of all the Newcastle fans, I think it's going to be great."
Tszyu was born in time for only three of his father's bouts in Newcastle and was too young to remember them but he was keen to keep his family's streak alive.
"We've had history here and it's only been positive," he said.
"I was only a little, young kid back in the days my dad was fighting here in Newcastle, so It's good to be back here and to be fighting on my own card, to be fighting in the biggest fight in my life and doing it in Newcastle."
He told Newcastle fight fans to "get on board" and be part of "a piece of history".
Jennings said Newcastle crowds and Kostya formed a bond and the champion was "like a second son to the city". He hoped to re-engage with Kostya's fans and the next generation.
"I'm a proud Novocastrian and I'm super proud that we are bringing this one home to Newcastle," Jennings said.
"Tim and I spoke about this way back in the early days and I said one of the things I would love to achieve in his career is for him to have that experience in Newcastle.
"It's like no other. The Newcastle Entertainment Centre for those seven fights with Kostya was just about as alive as it gets. It's like an old school throwback, the entertainment centre, it's a real boxing building, so I'm very excited."
Sydney-based Tszyu's most recent fight was a December 16 first-round TKO of Bowen. He said he had been in camp for six weeks and would continue training at home before spending fight week in Newcastle.
Asked if Hogan was his toughest opponent yet, he said: "Every opponent is different in its own way. It could be the toughest, it could be the easiest. It really depends on the night, and it all changes with one punch, so we'll see how he reacts when he gets hit flush."
Hogan was equally as confident, tipping "a big win for me". He was a controversial loser on points to Jaime Munguia in a WBO super welterweight world title fight in Mexico in April 2019. He then suffered a TKO defeat to Jermall Charlo in a WBC middleweight world title bout in December that year.
Hogan was looking forward to the challenge in his adopted country against a less experienced rival.
"For those world title fights I've always been the B-side, far away from home," he said. "I do consider Australia my home and even though I'm the B-side, I certainly believe I'll get a good crack of the whip here.
"The word over-hyped has been thrown at me [about Tszyu] but there is a hype train going on and as I've said many times, Tim has done very well and he's beaten everyone put in front of him, but there's a lot of hype though about him. Here he's got the opportunity to prove if that's correct or not."
He believed his edge in experience would show.
"When you get into deep water, how do you pull out of that?" he said. "I just don't feel Tim would have had the time to nurture any of those skills. But even if he did, it's about rising to the challenge and I certainly can."
Hogan was a $5.50 rank outsider with TAB on Tuesday but he said he wasn't embracing the underdog tag.
"The underdog status doesn't resonate with me personally, so I still don't feel that. I know everyone else does, but I don't know how to even comprehend that."
As for motivation from bring the "B-side" again, he said: "The more I'm up against, the better I come out. I supposed it would in a way, but at this stage in the game, with all the fights I've had and the experience, I just don't really have any emotion towards it all.
"I get on with it and I know what I bring to the table and I can beat anyone on a good day. I just have to ensure I have a good day and everything is going spot on for that."
He believed he had skill advantage over Tszyu.
"Power punchers spend a lot of their time relying on their power and they don't nurture all the other skills that need to be nurtured," he said.
"I've had 30 years of nurturing skills and I think you're going to see the difference on fight night."
Hogan has not fought for 15 months, after a bout fell through, but he said the break had been a blessing.
"It would seem a long time [the break] but when you're locked into a fight like I was, your brain turns back on again and you're engaged," he said.
"And I certainly was, I was two weeks out from a fight. So everything is where it is.
"I've had a lot of time to re-evaluate and do things a lot better.
"And one of the things about how recently I used to fight was that you just fight, you fight and you fight. And I've had time to step back and freshen up mentally and physically and that will all show on fight night."
Hogan's camp consider him a world champion, after the loss in Mexico, but Tszyu was having none of that.
"The history books don't say that, a loss is a loss and you can't go back," he said.
"But look, he's going to be a tough competitor, a tough challenge but these are the types of fights that you want.
"If you want to be the best, you've got to take out everyone that's on top of you or anyone who's around you.
"As they say, he's world class, but I think he's just under that world class because he's never been able to go to that top."