Home Boxing News Michael Zerafa vows to box on, says Tim Tszyu could still factor...

Michael Zerafa vows to box on, says Tim Tszyu could still factor in his future

Tim Tszyu and Michael Zerafa. Photo credit: James Alcock/Sydney Morning Herald

Michael Zerafa 31-5 (19) has declared he intends to box on following his knockout loss to WBA middleweight champion Erislandy Lara 30-3-3 (18) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 31.

Boxing on the undercard of the WBO and WBC junior middleweight unification bout between Tim Tszyu 24-1 (17) and Sebastian Fundora 21-1-1 (13), the 32-year-old Australian was caught by a big left hand from the 40-year-old Cuban southpaw late in the second round and couldn’t beat the count.

Zerafa, who suffered the second knockout loss of his 13 year pro career, says he is not planning on hanging up the gloves just yet.

“It’s not the end for me, I’m not retiring,” Zerafa told CODE Sports.

“The good news is PBC (promoters Premier Boxing Champions) have told me they will honour my deal. I have another fight with them and they are keen to put me on another show in America.

“I dared to be great, but Lara is a great fighter, he set me up perfectly and I just didn’t see his shot coming.

“It’s a good wake-up call. It’s made me hungrier.

“It’s a bit of a setback, no doubt, but it’s my first loss in five years, so I’m not going to retire because of one defeat.”

Melburnian Zerafa hasn’t given up on landing a fight with interstate rival Tszyu after the 29-year-old Sydneysider lost his bout against six-foot-six Californian southpaw Fundora by split decision.

The pair had been scheduled to fight in July 2021 before Zerafa withdrew at the last minute for reasons still not clearly explained, prompting a war of words ever since.

But Zerafa says they broke bread in Las Vegas and he remains cautiously optimistic they will be sharing a ring at some stage in the future.

“I would love to fight Tim Tszyu next, 100 per cent,” said Zerafa. “Look, we made amends in Vegas so I’m not going to bag Tim.

“He showed me respect, I showed him respect and both our teams showed respect.

“I wanted Tim to win and we spoke after the fight.

“Both our teams got along great, so moving forward there will be a good alliance and genuine respect between the two camps.

“In saying that, it doesn’t mean the rivalry between us as boxers is no longer there.

“I still want the fight against Tim, but I’m not going to trash talk him.

“It will be strictly business as professionals and I still genuinely believe it’s the fight that has to happen for Australian boxing.”

For a Tszyu fight to happen, Zerafa would have to move down in weight. That’s something he says he is prepared to do.

“There’s talk about me coming down to 154 (pound) because at 160 I’m probably too small as a middleweight,” Zerafa said.

“I would love to fight Tim for a potential world-title eliminator.

“Outside the ring, it’s genuine respect, but in terms of business, we are two of the best fighters in Australia and it’s a great fight to make.

“We are both coming off losses so the timing is right.

“He always had that world title over me, but we both now have nothing, so it makes sense for us to fight.”