Michael Zerafa’s team confident of WBA title shot after taking step-aside deal for Erislandy Lara fight

Australian middleweight boxer Michael Zerafa will not challenge for the WBA title after being “generously compensated” to forgo his right for a shot at champion Erislandy Lara. Zerafa will fight on the Lara-Garcia undercard instead, with the winner of the main event to face him within four months. Elvis Grant, his manager, indicated that Zerafa was not expecting his next opponent to present too much of a risk, as he was scheduled to “fight to stay busy and for the people to see him on the undercard here in the US, since he hasn’t fought here in eight years”, however, Grant insisted that a fight with the Lara-Garcia winner is “mandated and it’s in writing”, with Zerafa being treated with “respect that I believe he’s earned and deserves”.

Lara’s next fight will be against Danny Garcia, on 5 August in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, however, nothing has been confirmed as yet. Zerafa had hoped to challenge Lara in the US this summer, as well as fight Gennady Golovkin, however, Grant again asserted that should Zerafa win his next match he would face the winner of Lara and Garcia. An additional fight with Tim Tszyu is also on the cards.

The WBA confirmed that Zerafa’s step-aside deal was granted as long as all championship rules are followed and that within 120 days of the next fight, the winner between Lara and Garcia, or Lara should the fight end in a draw, is obligated to fight Zerafa. Zerafa has been vocal about his chances of getting a title shot, and Grant is confident that he will secure the belt, saying: “he’s being extremely generously compensated for allowing this fight to go ahead and I’m grateful to PBC and Al Haymon and Luis De Cubas for treating Michael with the respect that I believe he’s earned and deserves. Much better than he’s been treated in Australia, that’s for sure”.

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