Sunday, December 5, 2021

Tim Tszyu-Michael Zerafa blockbuster fight hangs in balance

Tim Tszyu’s blockbuster fight against Michael Zerafa next week is hanging in the balance as Covid-19 cases surge around Australia.

Zerafa resides in Melbourne and is reportedly unsure about travelling to Newcastle for the bout on Wednesday July 7.

Boxing presenter Ben Damon tweeted: “The Zerafa camp won’t commit to travelling to Newcastle for next week’s fight given the Covid situation in Sydney. Manager Sam Labruna: ‘I’m waiting on more advice but at this stage the majority of the team aren’t comfortable making the trip’.”

The Daily Telegraph reports Team Zerafa has told No Limit Boxing — the fight’s promoters — they’re not comfortable leaving Melbourne given the current climate.

Labruna posted an update on Facebook, writing: “I will be speaking to the Victorian government tomorrow as to the advice on the current Covid situation in reference to the Zerafa v Tszyu fight, the team’s safety and wellbeing comes first and once we get full clarification on what lies ahead we will be in a better position to comment and act accordingly, it’s unfortunate but it’s out of our hands.”

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Sydney is in the midst of a two-week lockdown and while Newcastle is unaffected by stay-at-home orders, Zerafa is worried he might get caught up if restrictions are extended into other areas of NSW.

Tszyu made it to Newcastle before Sydney’s lockdown came into force, avoiding fears the fight would need to be cancelled.

But if Zerafa holds firm, there may be more complications to come.

Promoter George Rose told foxsports.com.au,  “It seems like the closer we get to the fight, the more excuses keep getting thrown out.

“I mean, it’s frustrating for me. My role has turned from promoter into excuse squasher.”

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The Newcastle Entertainment Centre will only be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity for the fight and Tszyu is looking forward to stepping in the ring again after beating Dennis Hogan in the Steel City in March.

“Newcastle is the place where everything is still sweet. They are talking about having the State of Origin match here, I am here, there’s no cases at this stage, there’s no problems,” Tszyu told News Corp this week.

“I’ve just been training and coming back to my room. There’s people walking around with masks, you check in wherever you go, but that’s pretty standard now anyway.

“Every camp has its own challenges, but the main thing is I feel god. I’ve got myself to one of the fittest levels I’ve been at, so there are no excuses, I’m ready to go.”

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