- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Tim Tszyu camp believe Michael Zerafa is running scared and looking to use travel restrictions as a way out of next week's fight in Newcastle.
Zerafa and his Melbourne-based team say they are seeking further advice but currently "aren't comfortable" leaving their home state.
Newcastle isn't in lockdown like Greater Sydney due to the COVID-19 outbreak and there are no travel restrictions, although the recommendation of the Victorian government is to avoid travel to NSW.
This comes despite the Storm flying from Melbourne to Newcastle for Thursday night's NRL match against the Sydney Roosters.
The Zerafa stance puts the long-awaited July 7 super welterweight showdown between the bitter enemies on the verge of cancellation.
A fuming Tszyu refused to contemplate that the bout wouldn't go ahead and demanded Zerafa make the trip.
"I couldn't care less how he gets here whatever the circumstances are, just get him here," the 26-year-old said in Newcastle on Tuesday.
"He's been talking it up and following me around for the last three years and couldn't get my name out of his mouth and it's finally come to it and they're making up all this random bulls**t.
"I'm sick and tired of it - get this kid here."
Tszyu said he would be doing Australia a favour by stopping Zerafa. "This one is going to be sweet just for the fact that this guy is a loudmouth, he's not liked here in Australia that's for sure," he said.
Fellow Australian boxer Andrew Maloney weighed in on Twitter.
"Screamed that they wanted the fight for years. Turns out they obviously don't. Embarrassing!," the former WBA world champion tweeted.
Tszyu's promoter George Rose said they'd been in contact with all relevant authorities to ensure the safety of the boxers and the crowd, which has been cut to 50 per cent.
Rose thought Zerafa's reluctance had little to do with COVID-19.
"There's no excuses for this fight whatsoever," Rose said on Tuesday.
"Fear makes a man do strange things ... probably one of the worst things we did was have Michael travel up to Sydney the other week and he looked Tim in the eye and saw what he was going to bring to this fight.
"Since then there's been a lot of excuses coming out."