Boiling Zerafa promises hell for Horn
As Brisbane sweltered in a 40C heatwave on Monday Michael Zerafa promised to take Jeff Horn to an even hotter hell on Wednesday night.
With blazing eyes and an acid tongue, Zerafa says he has more than 600,000 reasons to ice Horn again after handing him the worst beating of his life in Bendigo four months ago.
The two fierce rivals came face to face again at the Lang Park PCYC on Monday ahead of their rematch at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and while temperatures were rising, Zerafa's temper boiled over.
Zerafa told Horn and his feisty coach Glenn Rushton: "I'm going to knock (Horn) out. You're not a middleweight, man. You don't have my power. I'm ending your f---ing career.''
The Melbourne middleweight had planned to be in Tokyo this week preparing for a world title fight against Ryota Murata and a guaranteed purse of almost $800,000.
Instead he's fighting Jeff Horn for $120,000 after Horn's team enforced their rematch clause.
Zerafa wants compensation of more than $600,000 in blood.
He arrived at Monday's media gathering in a high powered Chrysler and is the bookies' favourite to run over Horn again.
While Zerafa told Horn that the former world welterweight champion doesn't have the height, reach, size, strength or skill to match him as a fighter he mocked Rushton's haircut, his boxing background, his corner advice and his training techniques. It was Rushton, after all, who insisted on the rematch.
"Jeff would be double the athlete without Rushton. Rushton doesn't know a thing about boxing,'' Zerafa said. "Have you heard him talk in the corners?"
When Rushton brought up the subject of Horn's "boxing IQ'', Zerafa responded: "My boxing IQ is actually dropping talking to you.
"I'm going to hit Jeff that hard you're going to feel it."
Zerafa and his team, led by co-trainer Blake Caparello the world's No. 3 light-heavyweight, played tough mind games yesterday, declaring that Rushton made a stupid decision putting the smaller Horn in with a big middleweight in the first fight and then not stopping the bout soon enough when Horn was taking a dreadful beating.
Sydney referee John Cauchi, who saved Jack Brubaker against a rampaging Tim Tszyu last week, will control this fight and says he will not let either boxer take unnecessary punishment.
Cauchi will donate his fee for handling the fight to the appeal for Dwight Ritchie, the former Australian champion who died while sparring Zerafa on November 9.
As his nature, Horn let Zerafa do most of the talking yesterday, promising he would have the last word with his fists.
"Michael is very confident,'' Horn said. "But he felt my power at different times in our first fight and I'm fitter and stronger this time. I want to win badly and being the underdog makes me fight much harder.''