THE manager of Michael Zerafa has questioned Jeff Horn’s team following their decision to pursue an immediate rematch.
Brendan Bourke, who manages the likes of former world title challenger Blake Caparello and Zerafa among others, believes Horn has been ill-advised in exercising his contractual rematch clause.
“Everybody knows boxing is a dangerous and unforgiving sport and fighters needs a team behind them that will protect the fighter from dangerous decisions,” Bourke told Aus-Boxing.
“Jeff is a welterweight, he’s got no business at middleweight. They threw him in 13 pounds over his ideal weight and he was overpowered and knocked out.
“Now his promoter Dean Lonergan and trainer Glenn Rushton want to throw him back in way over his career fight weight, that’s not a rational decision.
“It looks like a money hungry cash grab from his team with no apparent thought to the fighter’s safety. Jeff was brutally knocked out and concussed only five weeks ago.”
Zerafa (27-3, 16 KOs) was deep in negotiations to face reigning WBA middleweight titleholder Ryoto Murata on December 23 after his upset victory over Horn (19-2-1, 13 KOs) in Bendigo, only for an unlikely rematch to be ordered just days ago.
In light of the decision to replicate the conditions of their first meeting, including the contracted middleweight limit, Bourke believes Horn’s team have been negligent in their line of thinking.
“You have to question why put him back at middleweight,” he explained.
“If he gets hurt and knocked out again his team are responsible for letting Jeff fight at an unsafe weight. To make matters worse I hear Lonergan say they will get Jeff down to welterweight, and they are happy to give away 13 pounds to Michael.
“If that’s the case the boxing commission shouldn’t allow the fight to proceed.”
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