Michael Zerafa bagged Jeff Horn for blaming pizza on his knockout loss in August, but it was a sweet treat that caused The Hornet grief.
Michael Zerafa bagged Jeff Horn for blaming pizza on his knockout loss in August, but it was a sweet treat that caused The Hornet grief.

Horn bans chocolates in hunt for sweet revenge on Zerafa

The chocolates stay in the cupboard until December 18.

Jeff Horn has sworn off sweet treats in his bid to extract revenge against rival Michael Zerafa after it was confirmed they're having a rematch in Brisbane.

Zerafa stunned Australian boxing when he scored a ninth-round stoppage win over Horn in August, after which Horn's trainer Glen Rushton blasted his charge for "eating pizza and drinking Coke" during his training camp.

Horn and Rushton have patched things up since that loss in Bendigo, and the Queenslander is feeling confident of turning the tables on Zerafa in their middleweight rematch at the Brisbane Convention Centre one week before Christmas.

Zerafa upset Horn in Bendigo earlier this year. AP Image/Michael Dodge.
Zerafa upset Horn in Bendigo earlier this year. AP Image/Michael Dodge.

"I wasn't eating pizza during my last training camp, but my diet wasn't spot on, I was having a few cheat meals here and there, eating chocolates, and that cost me big time," Horn said.

"That is not happening this time around. I now have a dietitian working with me, I have a strict diet and a personal chef preparing all of my meals.

"I'm not cutting any corners in my training or my diet for this fight, I've really got that hunger to train a lot better and a lot harder."

Zerafa berated Horn at the official press conference on Thursday announcing their second bout, after Horn had warned him prior to their first fight of the added power he'd have at the higher weight.

"[He said] 'Zerafa is going to have to worry about my power', now what's your excuse, your pizza? Really? You're a former world champ and you're going to use a pizza?" Zerafa said.

"We didn't have to come here [to fight in Brisbane], I came here because I know I can beat you. You put it in anyone's backyard I'll beat you.

Rushton criticised Horn’s diet in the aftermath of the shock loss. AAP Image/Darren England.
Rushton criticised Horn’s diet in the aftermath of the shock loss. AAP Image/Darren England.

"Skills pay the bills and you don't have my skills.

"Your last fight will be on December 18."

Having pulled off one of the greatest upsets in boxing when he defeated Manny Pacquiao in 2017, Horn was thrust onto the world stage.

But after a one-sided loss at welterweight to pound-for-pound contender Terence Crawford last year, his star dropped, and then the defeat to Zerafa at middleweight has created a must-win situation for the 31-year-old.

"It's do or die for me now," Horn said.

"If he does beat me again, I'm more than damaged goods. I won't be getting any of those big fights again."

Horn has it all on the line in the rematch. AAP Image/Michael Dodge.
Horn has it all on the line in the rematch. AAP Image/Michael Dodge.

Zerafa has slammed Horn for taking up the rematch offer because he's been denied a shot at middleweight WBA "regular" champion Ryota Murata that would have yielded him enough money to buy his own home.

After weighing up his future, including the possibility of retirement, Horn decided he wanted a second shot against Zerafa.

"They probably don't want to lose, and that big payday, but they are still getting paid and they are in a much better position than they ever would be in because I gave him a chance to fight," Horn said.

"If they're able to beat me a second time those big fights and big pay days will still be there for them."



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