Home Boxing News Michael Zerafa heads to the USA as he seeks to make world...

Michael Zerafa heads to the USA as he seeks to make world championship dream a reality

WBA number one ranked middleweight contender Michael Zerafa 31-4 (19) is heading stateside as he pushes for his mandatory title shot against WBA champion Erislandy Lara 29-3-3 (17).

The 31-year-old Australian has not boxed in more than a year and is keen to kickstart his career.

Zerafa accepted step aside money to allow Lara to defend his title against Danny Garcia 37-3 (21), loosely penciled in for August 5. That date quietly passed without the fight taking place and so far has not been rescheduled.

This could be due in part to broadcaster Showtime exiting the boxing business. Lara and Garcia are both represented by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), who had an exclusive output deal with Showtime. Last week it was announced that PBC had reached an agreement with Prime Video to stream their events.

Zerafa will be hoping this deal puts the wheels in motion to get him back in the ring.

Once in the United States, Zerafa plans to sit down with his manager Elvis Grant and executives from the WBA at their annual campaign in Orlando, Florida before heading back across the country to set up camp in California at the Brickhouse Boxing Gym under the watchful eye of head coach Julian Chua.

“And I’m ready,” Zerafa said to Fox Sports Australia. “All this waiting around, it’s been a pain in the arse. But the delays have also made me hungrier and I’m ready to go. I’m ready to bring a world title home to Australia.

“When I first became mandatory, PBC came to us and said ‘look, we’ve already got this fight between Lara and Garcia organised’. So while they respected me being the new number one, they asked if I would give them the green light to have allow that other fight first. So I did. Because while I didn’t want to wait – I’ve wanted to be a world champion since first lacing up gloves – I also knew a ‘no’ from me was going to upset a lot of people.

“Plus, I was only going to be waiting three months. So I said ‘okay, do your thing’. But then the fight got delayed, then delayed again. It’s just got to the point where enough was enough. So that’s why I’m heading to the US next week, to see where things are at and start training with my new team. Elvis is already organising everything. I really want to get everything rolling so that I’m fighting early next year.”

Zerafa split a pair of fights at junior middleweight with former WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn in 2019 but his career has stalled since then. A year of inactivity followed before he scored a first round knockout of a washed Anthony Mundine in 2021, then a fourht-round knockout of journeyman Siliveni Nawai.

Last year he put fringe contender Issac Hardman out in two, then scored a lacklustre points win over Danilo Creati.