Zefara warning for ‘overtrained’ Horn
Jeff Horn's marathon training efforts could make him the fittest man in the world but it still won't be enough to overcome the boxing skills of Michael Zerafa in Brisbane next Wednesday night.
That's the damning assessment from Zerafa and his training svengali Sam Labruna who say The Fighting Schoolteacher will be taught another lesson after the brutal caning he took in Bendigo on August 31.
Horn was stopped in nine rounds as Zerafa cut loose in a stunning upset.
When asked if he believed Horn's defence would improve going into the rematch at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Zerafa bluntly replied: ``You can't polish a turd.
``He doesn't have my reach, height, speed, youth or skills. He's not going to learn anything more from the first fight. He might be a bit fitter but so what? It's going to be the same outcome as the first fight.''
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Labruna who has coached Zerafa for a year and a half, describes him as a ``100 per cent confidence fighter'' and says the boxer knows that he has Horn covered in every aspect of the fight.
``Jeff doesn't have Michael's skills and that's the big difference,'' says Labruna who also coaches world rated light-heavyweight Blake Caparello.
``The guys I train need to learn boxing first before they work on the fitness.
``I watch all of Jeff's fights - he doesn't have balance, he doesn't have any defence, he doesn't jab, he drops his head when he goes forward.
``We exposed him in the first fight and the only reason Michael got caught in Round 3 was that he got cocky. He found Jeff very easy to hit.''
Horn says he will be a vastly different fighter to the one Zerafa monstered in Bendigo and is training up to five hours a day in readiness.
He is adamant he is treating his shot at revenge with the same dedication that he took into his monumental victory over Manny Pacquiao before more than 51,000 people at Suncorp Stadium two years ago in a performance that sunned the sporting world.
But Labruna says Horn is only exhausting himself.
``To me it's not about how fit you get or how many times a day you train; that's just numbers. I see Jeff and to me he looks run down; he looks over-trained and it seems there is a lot of confusion in the camp
``He might be fitter for this fight and he might fight with a higher workrate but we are prepared for that.
``Michael is a very talented kid. For the first fight he believed that he could beat Jeff but for the rematch he knows 100 per cent that he can because he's already done it.''
Labruna said the first thing he taught all his fighters was a strong defence.
``None of my fighters get knocked around,'' he said.
``Jeff Horn has been hurt and he's been belted around a bit. He's been fighting the same way since the day he started. Nothing changes.
``Michael is improving all the time.''