Though he lost the war of words in the buildup. former WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn avenged one of the year’s more surprising upsets this morning, out-brawling and twice dropping rival Michael Zerafa en route to a majority decision victory.
Horn (20-2-1, 13 KO), who’d bounced back from a destructive loss to Terence Crawford with a knockout of Anthony Mundine, suffered two knockdowns and an eventual ninth-round stoppage against Zerafa (27-4, 16 KO) in their first meeting this past August. His conditioning reportedly held up this time, though, allowing him to utilize his customary pressure to overpower his foe.
The ninth round, which proved climactic last time, was every bit as dramatic in the sequel. Zerafa went after Horn with everything and seemed to have Horn badly hurt, but walked headlong into a right hand that crumpled him to the mat. Horn would put him down again shortly thereafter, evening the score.
You can watch the mayhem here.
Horn had been pursuing a clash with Ryota Murata before the August disaster, so that could presumably still be on the table should Murata defeat Steven Butler next week. If not, well, I don’t think any fans would object to a rubber match.