Aussie boxer Michael Zerafa declares it’s his ‘time to win a world title’ as the outspoken star says fierce rival Tim Tszyu should be ’embarrassed’ for fighting a ‘bum’ like Carlos Ocampo
- Michael Zerafa is on track for a world title fight
- Says that rival Tszyu has been fighting ‘bums’
- Claims to be the true king of Aussie boxing
Aussie boxer Michael Zerafa says he’s ready to take over as the ‘true king of Australian boxing’ and has taken a stunning swipe at bitter rival Tim Tszyu for fighting ‘bums’.
Zerafa was branded the most hated man in Aussie boxing when he pulled out of his scheduled fight with Tszyu in 2021, but the Melbourne middleweight has since lined up a world title-strategy in the USA.
Zerafa, who is ranked No.1 in the WBA, was offered a six figure sum to step aside and allow champion Erislandy Lara to fight Danny Garcia in August.
Under the terms of the deal, the winner of the Garcia-Lara fight must face the outspoken Aussie within 120 days, guaranteeing Zerafa a shot at the WBA world title before the end of the year.
Tszyu meanwhile has seen his unification bout with Jermell Charlo fall apart, with the American star choosing to fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez instead.
Michael Zerafa says he’s ready to take over as the ‘true king of Australian boxing’
Zerafa was branded the most hated man in Aussie boxing when he pulled out of his scheduled fight with Tszyu in 2021
‘It’s my time to win a world title,’ Zerafa told News Corp.
‘I’m about to head to America for a seven-week camp. All my sparring is lined up and we’re finalising an opponent in the next few weeks.
‘I’ve told my manager I want a world-ranked opponent, I don’t want the type of bum that Tim Tszyu fought when he beat (Carlos) Ocampo in the first round, which was embarrassing for him.
‘For some reason, there seems to be a lot of hate and adversity for me in Australia, but I will fight soon for a world title and when I win it, I will be the true king of Australian boxing.’
Zerafa was criticised by Tszyu for taking the ‘step aside money’, but the Victorian says it’s all business and believes that now he’s had the last laugh.
The outspoken Melbourne fighter says it’s now time for him to win a world title
‘Financially, they looked after us and I will fight the winner of Lara versus Garcia for a world title,’ said Zerafa.
‘At least I was smart enough to get paid and now I get another four months to prepare for my world-title shot.
‘What has Tszyu got? F*** all.
‘He wants to bag me for taking step-aside money, but Charlo gave him nothing and now look what’s happened, Tszyu has been dudded completely.
‘Everyone wants to go on about Tszyu being the risk taker, but I will risk it all and actually fight someone decent.
‘I want a worthy world-class opponent, not a bum like Ocampo who had two left feet and lasted 70 seconds.
‘Interim champions mean nothing.
‘Technically, I can say I am an interim world champion but it’s a lot of crap. It’s a mock world title. Tszyu is walking around like he has conquered the world, but he’s won nothing yet.
‘Tim Tszyu has a lot of people fooled, but he won’t fool me.’
Zerafa has criticised Tim Tszyu for fighting ‘bums’ like last opponent Carlos Ocampo
If Zerafa manages to win a world title, it’ll be a dream come true for the fighter who lost two friends in tragic circumstances over the last few years.
Zerafa’s good mate – and top Australian boxer – Dwight Ritchie tragically died while the pair were sparring in a Melbourne gym in 2019.
Ritchie, 27, took a few steps back and collapsed after he copped a regulation blow to the stomach.
A devastated Zerafa could do nothing but helplessly watch on in horror as paramedics frantically tried to save the young father-of-three but were unable to revive him.
‘If and when I win a world title, this is going to be the biggest bounce backstory in Australian boxing,’ Zerafa told the Herald in early 2023.