Former Commonwealth junior middleweight champion Michael ‘Pretty Boy’ Zerafa 25-3 (14) has hit back at Jeff Horn’s promoter Dean Lonergan after the New Zealander claimed the former WBO welterweight champion would destroy the 26-year-old Melburnian in under six rounds.
Lonergan made the comments in an interview with Sky News when he called out former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook 38-2 (26) on behalf of Horn 19-1-1 (13).
The 32-year-old Sheffield banger outpointed Zerafa over 12-rounds in his last outing in December but the experienced Australian surprised many by coming on strong in the back half of the fight and even rocking Brook on a number of occasions.
“We think Zerafa is a fighter that Jeff Horn would totally dominate and destroy within five or six rounds, and Kell Brook couldn’t put him away,” Lonergan said.
Unsurprisingly, Zerafa took issue with the outspoken Kiwi’s assessment.
“I asked my manager Brendan Bourke to get me the Horn fight. He told me they weren’t interested and had bigger fights on the horizon,” said Zerafa.
“I was okay with that, but coming out saying Horn would destroy me within five rounds? Lonergan has lost the plot!”
Horn, 30, is coming off a 96-second destruction of compatriot Anthony Mundine 48-9 (28) at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium in November.
According to Team Zerafa, that victory flatters to deceive.
“Horn’s team are underestimating Brook and they’re definitely underestimating Michael,” said Zerafa’s trainer Sam Labruna.
“Lonergan is a good business man and a good promoter but he doesn’t know a right hook from a fish hook! Jeff’s style is perfect for Zerafa and Horn’s coach Glenn Rushton hasn’t taught him anything new since the start.”
Zerafa was equally unimpressed with Horn’s victory over the 43-year-old Sydney veteran and insists he holds no fear of facing ‘The Fighting Schoolteacher’.
“I would happily fight Horn whenever he comes to terms with the fact I’m the best super welterweight in the country,” added Zerafa.
“Jeff and his team know I’d give him fits. I’m not an outdated, old man like Mundine.”