Fast forward less than a year and Zerafa’s predicament has changed dramatically after disposing of Issac Hardman in the second round in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
Zerafa becomes the world number two IBF middleweight contender and is set to fight Brazil’s new number one-ranked contender Esquiva Falcão for the IBF belt in Melbourne later this year.
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The opportunity has opened up off the back of Gennady Golovkin’s decision to vacate the middleweight division and chase a third bout against Saul “Canelo” Álvarez at super middleweight.
Zerafa stuns Hardman with second-round stoppage
After being admonished by fans, broadcasters and sections of the media for his Tszyu no-show, Zerafa had some words for the undefeated Sydney fighter, who is also in line for a shot at the unified super welterweight title this year.
“To all the haters, thank you, thank you,” Zerafa said.
“I’m bringing a world title back to Melbourne.
“Timmy Tszyu we got a world title shot next. Everyone thought I lost. There was a fight there we never backed out of that fight.
“People want to believe the media that’s up to them. We had Issac Hardman in front of us, we took care of him. I’ve got a world title shot next, what’s Timmy doin?”
No doubt Tszyu is back in the gym after defeating Terrell Gausha in his US debut in late March, in a bout that headlined a Showtime event.
It’s widely expected Tszyu will face the winner of the Brian Castano v Jermell Charlo blockbuster unification bout, which takes place on May 15 (AEST) in Carson, California.
However, by the time Charlo and Castaño fight, Tszyu will have been dormant for nearly two months following his clash with Gausha.
Considering how long negotiations may take with the crowned winner of that bout, Tszyu may be forced to take another fight before taking on the new unified champion.
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