Michael Zerafa is happy to play boxing’s villain, but there is more to him than meets the eye.
Michael Zerafa is happy to play boxing’s villain, but there is more to him than meets the eye.

‘What’s with that stache?’: Zerafa’s hilarious Tszyu sledge

Michael Zerafa believed Tim Tszyu may be backed into a corner and forced to fight him next as the super-welterweight world title picture becomes murky.

Tszyu was due to face champion WBO champion Patrick Teixeira, but the Brazilian lost to Argentina's Brian Castano last month.

Since then it has emerged that Castano, who is signed to the powerful Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) company run by Al Haymon - mentor of Floyd Mayweather - is in talks to unify the division against WBC, WBA and IBF champion Jermell Charlo, who is also with PBC.

That could leave Tszyu (17-0, 13KO) waiting many months for a shot at the crown, and his bitter local rival is prepared to jump in after Tszyu fights Dennis Hogan in Newcastle on March 31.

"The fight definitely will happen, you can't run forever," Zerafa said.

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"There's a lot of talk, but the most impressive thing about Tszyu is his moustache, what's happening with that stache? He couldn't grow a proper one, he can't grow a beard but he's grown a stache in a day.

"He's been to Ashley and Martin I think. Once I whip him I'll teach him how to tame it.

"I don't hate him, I just dislike the way he goes about his boxing.

"If my dad was Mike Tyson everyone would be going crazy, his dad is a legend of the sport and if he didn't have that last name I truly believe he wouldn't be getting these opportunities.

"In saying that, he's doing well. Hogan is no slouch, he's been in there with [Jaime] Munguia, [Jermall] Charlo, so Tszyu's got his hands full.

"I think Tszyu wins the fight, there's a lot of talk about him and a world title but I think he lost that opportunity when Teixeira lost against Castano.

"So all this about a world title and 'Zerafa you're a bum, you've got no chance', well there is no world title, what are they talking about?

"Castano is not going to want to fight Tszyu, he wants to fight guys like Charlo for the bigger money, that's what he's been offered."

Zerafa (28-4, 17KO) revealed he is in negotiations to fight Japan's WBA middleweight champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13KO).

"I'm in negotiations with Murata for a world title fight, obviously I was in negotiations and the contracts were there when I beat Jeff Horn in the first fight, and then in the rematch things went sour, but now things are back and forth trying to seal the deal with Murata," Zerafa said.

Zerafa says Tim Tszyu must have had treatment after suddenly growing a moustache. Picture: NCA NewsWire.
Zerafa says Tim Tszyu must have had treatment after suddenly growing a moustache. Picture: NCA NewsWire.

But if those talks fall through, Zerafa is willing to step down a weight class to make the biggest grudge fight in Australia.

"They want to make me the big villain with the whole Dusty Martin story, I was asked would I fight him and I said I'd do it for charity and it's been a whole drama, and I'm happy to do that because I'm not in this sport to make friends," Zerafa said.

"I'm not lonely, the people close to me know who I am. No one gets me on Channel 9 showing that I help the elderly, which I do every week, helping kids with disabilities, when we were in COVID I was giving money to families and charities out of my own pocket, nobody covers that.

"Everyone just says 'Zerafa's a sook', he's this, he's that.

"I just want to put Aussie boxing back on the map. Anthony Mundine carried the sport for many years and he said to me; 'Keep going with it'.

"Tszyu's camp said 'We offered him a fight and he declined' but that's not it, he made me a disrespectful offer, they offered me $60,000 when he's offering retired fighters triple that amount, it's a fight he doesn't want.

"I was willing to take it but my team said 'No, don't let him disrespect you, we don't need him'.

"He's already said off camera that I'm a risk to him.

"If I'm so easy and not world class in his mind, why won't he fight me and shut me up? Because he knows.

"When he was still drinking warm milk before bedtime I was fighting Peter Quillin in America at just 22."


Zerafa stopped Mundine in the first round of their fight last weekend.

"It was a legacy fight for me, it was more than boxing and the sport," Zerafa said.

"It ticks off an achievement, I was 13 years old and I reached out to Mundine on MySpace, I said it would be an absolute dream to fight him and retire him, and he replied: 'If you're looking to be beat, I'm The Man to meet'.

"And 15 years later I got the opportunity."

Originally published as 'What's with that stache?': Zerafa's hilarious Tszyu sledge

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