Michael Zerafa (27-3) scored a surprising 9th round KO win over former WBO world welterweight champion Jeff Horn (19-2-1) to capture the WBA Oceania middleweight title.
The fight took place in Bendigo, Australia with Horn going to the bout as the heavy favorite. Zerafa managed to knock Horn down twice – the first time in the second round and later in the ninth part.
Zerafa was landing all kind of shots all night long – his side-steps were on time and his body punches were slowly, but surely demolishing Horn. A crazy right hand dropped Horn in the second, but he managed to beat the count and to recover between the rounds. He came out way stronger in the third and connected with a massive left hook that rocked the 27-year-old Zerafa. And just when everything was starting to look great for the 31-year-old “Hornet”, an accidental head butt cut him open on the left eye.
A BOILOVER IN BENDIGO!
Michael Zerafa has handed Jeff Horn his first defeat on Australian soil.
— bet365_aus (@bet365_aus) August 31, 2019
Even though his cutman did a great job on the wound, Horn’s vision was getting worse with every round. Zerafa, of course, got the momentum back on his side. He was controlling the tempo of the bout and fought an excellent inside fight, not letting Horn get a break.
The former teacher got exhausted by the hard shots he was absorbing and then Zerafa moved in to close the show, swarming Horn with power punches until the fight was mercifully halted at 2:24 of round nine.
— Tim – Boxeo Boxen бокс 拳闘 Boksing มวย Boks 拳击 (@Hock1717) August 31, 2019
That is Zerafa’s second straight win after his December loss to Kell Brook. Horn, on the other hand, will be missing a huge payday, because he was unofficially headed for a crack at two-time secondary middleweight titlist Ryota Murata, with tentative plans in place to match the two later this year in Japan.