Australian boxer Michael Zerafa will be heading to the United States, where he intends to train on a full-time basis for a world title shot in 2024.
Zerafa is the mandatory challenger to WBA middleweight champion Erislandy Lara.
The title shot has been delayed as Lara's planned defense against Danny Garcia has been pushed back several times.
After he arrives in the United States, Zerafa will sit down with WBA executives and manager Elvis Grant.
Zerafa will go to Orlando, Florida for the annual WBA convention and then fly to California to likely train under head coach Julian Chua at the Brickhouse Boxing Gym.
“And I’m ready,” Zerafa stressed to Fox Sports Australia. “All this waiting around, it’s been a pain in the arse. But the delays have also made me hungrier, and I’m ready to go. I’m ready to bring a world title home to Australia.
“When I first became mandatory, PBC came to us and said ‘look, we’ve already got this fight between Lara and Garcia organized.' So while they respected me being the new No.1, they asked if I would give them the green light to have allow that other fight first. So I did. Because while I didn’t want to wait – I’ve wanted to be a world champion since first lacing up gloves — I also knew a ‘no’ from me was going to upset a lot of people.
“Plus, I was only going to be waiting three months. So I said ‘OK, do your thing’. But then the fight got delayed, then delayed again. It’s just got to the point where enough was enough. So that’s why I’m heading to the US next week, to see where things are at and start training with my new team. Elvis is already organizing everything. I really want to get everything rolling so that I’m fighting early next year.”