'He's not good': Michael Zerafa hospitalised before Tszyu showdown

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Michael Zerafa reportedly presented to hospital on Tuesday night, complaining of rib pain after completing a training session. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Michael Zerafa reportedly presented to hospital on Tuesday night, complaining of rib pain after completing a training session. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Michael Zerafa is at risk of not being able to make the ring for his upcoming bout against Tim Tszyu after being taken to hospital, complaining of pain in his ribs.

The 29-year-old was due to fly from Melbourne to Sydney for media commitments, but didn't make his flight after heading to the emergency room on Tuesday night.

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He reportedly went home after being told there would be a five-hour wait to be seen by a doctor, instead returning on Wednesday morning.

With the bout against Tszyu just over a month away, Zerafa's trainer Sam Labruna told Fox Sports if he wasn't able to get through sparring sessions in the coming days, serious questions would have to be asked about whether he would be able to fight at all.

Labruna said they would have their answer in the next week, pending the outcome of treatment and whether or not Zerafa makes it through planned sparring sessions.

“He trained, he had a pain under his rib — he said he’s had it for about two or three days — so we sent him to hospital,” Labruna said.

“If this guy doesn’t recover in the next three, four, seven days, well, there’s not going to be a fight.

"Because I’m not going to put him in there if he’s not right. If he’s not sparring and training, we won’t be fighting, that’s for sure.”

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Labruna added there was little doubt in his mind that Zerafa was serious about the pain he was experiencing.

Missing a media commitment was not something the 29-year-old wanted to develop a reputation for doing, Labruna said.

"Look, he’s not well,” he said.

He would’ve come to Sydney if he was well. It’s not like Michael too, because for him to miss media, he’s not good, because he loves that stuff."

Tim Tszyu takes swipe at 'wannabe' Michael Zerafa

Tim Tszyu has rejected claims he once dodged a fight with Michael Zerafa, labelling his Aussie compatriot "soft" after the pair agreed to a blockbuster bout in July.

Tszyu and Zerafa have engaged in a spiteful verbal battle after announcing their all-Australian super fight in Newcastle on July 7.

Biding his time waiting for a shot at either Argentina's WBO light middleweight world champion Brian Castano or American Jermall Charlo, who holds the other three divisional straps, Tszyu is undefeated in 18 professional fights.

The 26-year-old insists he has too much class for Zerafa and will demonstrate the gulf in class between the pair when they lock horns.

Tim Tszyu and Michael Zerafa will fight at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on July 7. (Photo by Peter Lorimer/Getty Images)
Tim Tszyu and Michael Zerafa will fight at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on July 7. (Photo by Peter Lorimer/Getty Images)

“I’m ready for the big boys already, I’m an old school fighter, these boys have a few jabs, a few crosses, they don’t build them the same way, everyone is soft these days,” Tszyu said.

“Zerafa’s got no idea. Deep down, he knows he’s a soft man inside.”

But Zerafa, with 28 wins from his 32 bouts, insists Tszyu hasn't beaten anyone of note.

"I'm world class, I've fought everyone in Australia," Zerafa said.

"The guys he's fought, I've beaten and I'm a huge risk to him and July 7 it's going to be fireworks.

"I've wanted to get my hands on Tim for a while. It's personal."

The grudge match is also personal for Tszyu, who was accused of "fighting Venezuelan taxi drivers" by his upcoming opponent.

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