Aussie boxer Michael Zerafa wants to set the record straight – he definitely isn’t shying away from fighting Tim Tszyu and genuinely hopes the bout everyone is craving to see becomes a reality.
The high profile pair have developed an intense rivalry in recent years, and Melbourne based Zerafa has even been accused of avoiding Tszyu in the ring.
There is no love lost between the Australian rivals, after Zerafa’s camp rejected the chance to take on a $2.5million mega-fight with Tszyu earlier this year.
Instead, Zerafa stepped aside from his WBA world title bout against Erisandry Lara after receiving a financial incentive from American powerhouse promoters Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
That left Tszyu seething and calling his fellow Aussie a ‘fraud’.
‘That just shows his character, shows exactly the type of person he is. He’s a fraud,’ Tszyu said.
‘There’s no way I’d ever step away from a world title fight.
‘But in saying that, the only fighters who get offered step aside money are those who aren’t relevant. Fighters who aren’t important, the ones nobody cares about.
‘I dunno how much he took. But that bloke would accept 500 bucks.’
Aussie boxer Michael Zerafa (pictured left) has a message for fight fans – he isn’t avoiding Tim Tszyu and hopes the bout everyone is craving to see becomes a reality
Tszyu’s manager Matt Rose has accused Zerafa of avoiding his star fighter in the ring
Tim Tszyu impressed many after his bout against Mexico’s Carlos Ocampo on the Gold Coast in June
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia on Friday, the man they call Pretty Boy was quick to dismiss talk he is running scared of the ‘Soul Taker.’
‘The rivalry between us is real and I am sure Tim feels the same,’ said Zerafa, who is ranked No 1 in the WBA.
‘He comes from a great [boxing] bloodline, his father Kostya is one of Australia’s greatest.
‘As it stands, we are both number one in our divisions….there is only one way to settle who is the best, and that is in the ring.
‘We are both doing our thing at the moment, but when it [bout] does happen, it will be a massive event.
‘I wouldn’t say he gets under my skin though.’
Zerafa also confirmed his next fight is in November, where he will fight an Argentinian opponent in Las Vegas.
That will be followed up by the winner of Danny Garcia and Erislandy Lara, who currently holds the WBA title.
Garcia and Lara were supposed to fight in August, but it was delayed.
And given he hasn’t fought himself since November last year, Zerafa was happy the wheels are finally in motion.
Zerafa’s team insist that Tszyu – who is unbeaten in his professional career – is an inferior fighter
Zerafa was rocked recently after his sister was diagnosed with breast cancer
‘It’s good to have clarity on what’s next,’ the 31-year-old said.
‘Contracts with [US promoters] Premier Boxing Champions have been signed, the path is now clear, which is great.
‘I’m training three times a day, and I feel great physically, mentally and emotionally.
‘The end goal is to be a world champion, and I’m ready to make a statement.’
The orthodox fighter was left reeling recently after his sister was diagnosed with breast cancer.
‘She is only 36 and a mother of three, it was tough news to hear,’ he said.
‘I’m fighting for her as well, we are close and she is my inspiration.’
Source: Daily Mail Online