Unbeaten star Tim Tszyu will fight on July 7 whether it’s against Michael Zerafa or not according to the boxer’s promoter amid disputed reports Zerafa has been hospitalised.
Zerafa was scheduled to fly from Melbourne to Sydney yesterday for a series of promotional shoots, but missed the flight due to illness, with his trainer and co-manager Sam Labruna claiming he was in hospital.
His diagnosis remains unclear with varying reports stating the Victorian fighter is suffering from anything from a case of gastro to a rib injury. A source told Wide World of Sports Zerafa felt sick after training on Tuesday afternoon and started to vomit, but wasn’t hospitalised.
However, the problem is serious enough to raise fears from both camps that the bout in Newcastle, which is already a sell out, could be called off.
Labruna said if Zerafa doesn’t make it back to the gym by next week the fight will be abandoned.
Tszyu’s promoter, George Rose, told Wide World of Sports his charge will be fighting on July 7 regardless. He said there have been no updates from the Zerafa camp over the last 24 hours amid confusion over the boxer’s condition.
Rose confirmed he has received a flood of correspondence from other fighters who are willing to fill the breach if Zerafa pulls out.
“We’re still very much in the dark to be honest,” Rose said.
“It’s been more than 24 hours and we haven’t had an update from Michael or his team as to what is going on or how he is.
“It’s obviously concerning that we can’t get any clarity how he is doing and the extent of the injury, as we just want to know he’s alright first and foremost.
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“If it turns out to be something more serious from Michael than first thought, then we will have to see what that means for this fight. There’s already been a silly amount of phone calls and emails come in from fighters and their managers ready to step in for a July 7 fight.
“I really hope it’s not the case, but we’ll just have to wait until we know more.”
It’s understood Zerafa’s team won’t move forward with the fight unless he has an adequate amount of time to recover and get back to full strength.
Tszyu is hoping to become the mandatory challenger against the winner of the July 17 unification bout between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano. If Zerafa can’t take his place in the ring in July, it’s almost certain the Tszyu camp would take on another local fighter due to the difficulty of attracting an international opponent to Australia while the pandemic’s still raging.
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