Zerafa ‘surprised’ to be ‘under Tszyu’s skin’

Zerafa ‘surprised’ to be ‘under Tszyu’s skin’

Michael Zerafa insists his “Mickey Hatton” sledge directed toward Tim Tszyu was not intended to be a personal attack but is intrigued by how easily it appeared to rattle his rival.

Ahead of their July 7 clash, Zerafa publicly branded himself “Mickey Hatton” yesterday as the war of words ramped up.

The self-appointed nickname is a reference to Ricky Hatton – the man who ended Kostya Tszyu’s legendary career with a devastating 2005 stoppage.

Zerafa (28-4, 17 KOs) seemed to suggest that he wanted to bring the same fate to Kostya’s son, ending his blossoming career.

Boxers Tim Tszyu and Michael Zerafa face off at a press conference at The Star Casino. (James Alcock/Sydney Morning Herald)

The jab seemed to rub not only Tszyu, but fight fans, the wrong way for a disrespectful slight to one of the most respected names in Australian boxing.

But speaking in the aftermath of his comments, Zerafa explained that his pre-fight theatrics were not intended to be a personal attack on the Tszyu family name, moreover, they were a comment on the stylistic matchup.

“Again, I said even in the interview yesterday that it wasn’t a personal attack and Timmy even said it wasn’t personal, I know Michael didn’t mean it,” Zerafa told SEN Radio.

“There was nothing about him or his family it was just about stylistically between him and his dad, they’re very similar.

Boxers Tim Tszyu and Michael Zerafa face off at a press conference at The Star Casino. (James Alcock/Sydney Morning Herald)

“The way to beat him was how Ricky Hatton fought him, which was walk forward.

“I just said it was Micky Hatton, referring to the fight obviously the great legend Kostya and Ricky Hatton’s fight.”

Zerafa believes the situation, however, has shown a crack in Tszyu’s steely exterior, intrigued by how easily his rival seemed to be offended by the sledge.

“I got under his skin definitely, and again it wasn’t a personal attack,” Zerafa said.

Australian boxing superstar Tim Tszyu speaks to media ahead of his July 7 bout with Michael Zerafa. (Getty)

“But to see him get rattled by something so small surprised me to be honest.

“If it’s that easy to get under his skin, you know July 7th, it’s going to be a hard night for him.”

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