It appears COVID-19, and not unbeaten champion Tim Tszyu, has floored Michael Zerafa ahead of their blockbuster showdown at the Tszyucastle Entertainment Centre next week.
The highly-anticipated 7 July clash was cancelled today (30 June) after the Victorian pugilist’s camp raised health concerns about the bout.
A spokesperson for Team Zerafa said they opted not to travel to Newcastle following the latest coronavirus outbreaks, which have locked down Greater Sydney, including the Central Coast.
“Michael’s not going to fight without his team and trainers behind him,” he said.
“He’s been with them for the past three or so months in camp.
“They’re health and [financial] wellbeing always comes first.
“Hopefully, we’ll get another shot at Tim when the COVID-19 situation changes in NSW.”
Interestingly, NSW Health gave the event the all-clear, with the Tszyucastle Entertainment Centre’s capacity being halved to 3000 spectators to meet all the guidelines.
It’s a major blow to the Tszyu camp.
The fight itself sold out within 24 hours.
And, the Newcastle Entertainment Centre was renamed to honour the son of boxing great Kostya.
“I’m just grateful, blessed and lucky to have the place retitled,” Tszyu said last month.
“It’s a proud moment.
“Not many people at the age of 26 get something like this – I’m pretty happy with it.
“But, it comes off the back of a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifices to get to this point.
“Everything around me is paying off.”
That was until COVID-19 delivered the final punch.