With a relentless approach, and a style that has him continually coming forward, Kirima will be no pushover come fight night, and is an odds-on-favourite to go blow-for-blow with Zerafa for the scheduled 12 round title bout.
Zerafa should be looking to outbox and outwork; allowing his youth and size advantage to shine through. However, if he strays from boxing, and tries to trade with Kirima, he may be out-shone by Kirima’s superior punching power and experience.
In an exclusive interview with Team Ellis, Michael Zerafa had the following to say:
With just under 2 weeks until fight week; when you take on Japanese veteran Yosuke Kirima, training must be getting quite intensive. How has your training regime been so far, under your new head trainer Christian Ennor?
“Training camp has been nothing but positive and smooth down at Top Rank Fight & Fitness with Christian Ennor. I love his style and the way he conducts himself in and out of the ring, as a trainer I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Aussie boxing greats such as Michael Katsidis, Daniel Geale, Anthony Mundine, Danny Green and Sam Soliman have all held an IBF Pan Pacific Title in their respective weight class. What significance does this hold in your preparation for fight night? Do their individual successes spur you on for greatness in the sport?
“Knowing that such great Aussie boxers and well known athletes have fought for this title makes me extremely hungry and determined to bring it home. As I said earlier, training has been smooth and on point- so win, lose or draw no stone will be left unturned!”
Preparing for such an important fight in your career must make you think back to the early days of your involvement in the sport. What were your initial goals upon entering the sport?
“I never thought I would be able to reach such a high goal, but I have always maintained the belief that hard work beats talent – so I focused and constantly push my body and mind to new limits to achieve bigger and better things in boxing.”
Travelling to America last year, you fought the always dangerous Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin (31-0-1 at the time). In a fight where you gave your absolute best, how does the outcome of that performance affect your approach to upcoming fights?
“Fighting Peter Quillin was always a hard task, but we believed that if we trained right there was a huge chance for the team and I to bring home the victory. Any fight I take I always believe I can win – I train super hard and smart so there was no doubt in my mind. The fight gave me new found confidence and reinforced my belief in myself; making me hungrier for bigger fights.”
April 22nd’s card, headlined with Zerafa vs Kirima, also has some of Victoria’s best boxers competing. WBA Asia Super Middleweight Champion Ryan ‘Bullet’ Breese (8-0) will be looking to continue to prove that he is the #1 super middleweight prospect in Victoria, when he faces another top tier local prospect in Mark Smith (3-1-1) training out of the much respected Balla Boys Boxing Club.
With Breese coming off the biggest victory of his career against highly rated Jayde Mitchell (6-0 at the time), he will likely be full of confidence heading into the bout. With only 1 blemish on his record, Smith will be no easy task, and his textbook upright boxer style may cause problems for the more open, aggressive and unorthodox Breese.
In an everything to gain, and nothing to lose fight, Smith will be looking to replace Ryan as Victoria’s best super middleweight prospect.
Also on the card is the Victorian Super Middleweight Champion Mitch Clark (9-1) taking on the undefeated and sleek Korobo Etto (5-0-1). In a bout where a win will secure a big title fight for either fighter, each boxer will be looking to use their strengths to secure victory.
With a 100% KO ratio, and a considerable size advantage, Clark will surely be looking to end affairs early.
On the other hand, the highly credible amateur, and now undefeated professional Etto, will be seeking to box off the back foot, using angles and counter-boxing to catch Mitch coming in.
Joining the April 22nd card are the Australian Female Bantamweight Champion Sylvia Scharper, former Aussie welterweight champion Tim Hunt, KO sensation Clint Alderton, veteran local Shadey Souied along with a range of great local matchups.
All articles featured on the Team Ellis website are written by Tai Tuiniua. All direct inquiries can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org
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