Australian middleweights Jeff Horn and Michael Zerafa have revealed that they will run back their shocking August battle on December 18th in Brisbane. The pair recently held a combative press conference to officially announce what the organizers have deemed “The Reckoning.”
For my money, Zerafa (27-3, 16 KO), who battered Horn (19-2-1, 13 KO) to force a ninth-round stoppage, drew first blood in the rematch.
Horn and his camp said his loss to Zerafa in Bendigo was due to a preparation period that wasn’t up to scratch, filled with “pizzas and drinking Coke.”
“Jeff only lost the fight through tiredness in the end, yes he made a mistake,” [Horn trainer Glenn] Rushton said. “He did underestimate Michael Zerafa in that fight. He didn’t put the work in, this time he has and we look forward to it.
“When we watch that fight back Jeff said ‘that’s not me in there’...”
Zerafa sniped back: “Who was in the ring then?”
Horn: I’ve fought bigger names than you mate.
Zerafa: And how’d you go?
Horn: It doesn’t matter.
Horn: I’m hungry.
Zerafa: Go eat more pizza if you’re hungry.
Despite doing his best work at 147 and having only a knockout of Anthony Mundine on his middleweight résumé, Horn was favored to defeat Zerafa, who’d fallen short in all of his major fights to date. Instead, “The Hornet” suffered an early knockdown and ultimately ran out of steam, leading to his second loss in three fights.
Though Horn did have the right to call for this rematch per the requisite clause in their contract, Zerafa is furious that Horn’s doing so potentially cost him a lucrative matchup with WBA “regular” champion Ryota Murata. Luckily for “Pretty Boy,” the timing works out for a potential future fight if he gets past Horn again, as Murata is currently booked against Steven Butler in late December.
Whichever way the fight goes, Rushton is adamant that it will be the 31-year-old Horn’s last.