Tim Tszyu didn’t mention names Wednesday, but the emerging Australian star made his feelings perfectly clear about most of his contemporaries.

Tszyu commended Keith Thurman for moving up in weight to fight him March 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The WBO junior middleweight champion doesn’t have nearly as much respect for fighters that Tszyu feels have avoided him and others in different divisions.

“Again, I look and aspire to [be like] the throwback fighters,” Tszyu stated during a press conference at The Conga Room at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. “You know, I feel like fighters these days, in this modern era, they’re just a bunch of p-ssies! That’s just my opinion.”

Sydney’s Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) demonstrated his own willingness to take risks last year.

Rather than waiting around for his fight with former fully unified 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo to be rescheduled, Tszyu stopped onetime WBC super welterweight champ Tony Harrison (29-4-1, 21 KOs), then the only opponent to have beaten Charlo, in the ninth round last March 12 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. Tszyu then blew out Mexican veteran Carlos Ocampo (35-3, 23 KOs) in the first round of their June 18 bout at Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach, Australia.

Tszyu concluded an impressive, productive year by unanimously outpointing Brian Mendoza (22-3, 16 KOs) in their 12-rounder October 15 at Gold Coast Convention Centre.

Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC), though a career-long welterweight, is the most accomplished opponent that the 28-year-old Tszyu has agreed to fight since he turned pro seven years ago. They’ll square off at a catch weight of 155 pounds, one above the junior middleweight limit, because the WBO wouldn’t approve the perpetually inactive, unranked Thurman as a challenger for Tszyu’s 154-pound championship.

“The old throwback when I grew up watching [boxing] in the 2000s, everyone just fought the best, and that’s what I am,” Tszyu said. “At the end of the day, who cares? That’s why, for me, it was just I wanna fight and I wanna fight the big names. And Thurman was the big name and he’s the man that I’m after now.”

The 35-year-old Thurman, of Clearwater, Florida, will end a 25-month layoff when he fights Tszyu in the 12-round pay-per-view main event of Premier Boxing Champions’ first show as part of its new partnership with Amazon Prime. Thurman, a former WBA/WBC 147-pound champion, last fought in February 2022, when he defeated Mario Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 12-round welterweight bout at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.

By the time he enters the ring to battle Tszyu, Thurman will have fought just three times during a seven-year period. Thurman’s inactivity notwithstanding, Tsyzu considers Thurman just the type of opponent he needs to beat to legitimize himself among boxing fans outside of Australia.

“I haven’t made it,” Tszyu said. “The making begins when I beat Thurman. It’s all part of the process. And he’s just the first name on the list. And again, this is the takeover for me.”

Tszyu opened as an eyebrow-raising 11-1 favorite to defeat Thurman, according to DraftKings sportsbook.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.