Fenech insists Zerafa will stop Horn again
MICHAEL Zerafa will dominate and stop Jeff Horn even more convincingly than he did in their first fight, according to Australia's most successful boxer.
Three-time world champion Jeff Fenech, who is still recovering from a heart operation last month, says Zerafa will repeat his August win when the pair fight again at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on December 18.
Brisbane's former world welterweight champion, Horn was battered to a bloody pulp in nine rounds in the pair's last bout.
Zerafa has promised to end Horn's career with a spectacular victory.
Fenech, who tipped Zerafa before the first fight, said the Melbourne boxer would almost certainly win the return bout as well.
"Zerafa is only going to get better after winning in Bendigo,'' Fenech said.
"I know when I won my first world title in 1985 I became twice the fighter. My self-belief went through the roof.
"Zerafa would have been nervous and uncertain going in against the guy who beat Manny Pacquiao. Now he knows he can knock Jeff out.
"Zerafa's only danger now is overconfidence.
"Horn is working hard on his fitness but he really needs more skills and a better game plan.''
Fenech said Horn's awkward movement meant little in the first fight against Zerafa's radar-like long punches.
"Horn was getting hurt a lot,'' Fenech said. "He said he had a bad diet for the first fight, but a bad diet doesn't cause you to get rocked by punches - bad defence does.''
Horn was the hot favourite for the first fight but has said he relishes the role of the underdog for the rematch. He is training five hours a day.
"Hardly anyone gave me a chance of beating Manny Pacquiao two years ago for the world title, but that only made me fight harder,'' Horn said.
"It's the same for this fight. I know I didn't prepare properly for Bendigo, but I'm training just like it's Pacquiao all over again. Beating Zerafa is that important to me.''
Horn's father, Jeff Sr, is lobbying Queensland boxing authorities to implement new safety procedures that he helped introduce in Victoria after Horn's brutal loss in August.
Chief among them is positioning the ringside doctor next to the timekeeper so the doctor can immediately ring the bell to stop a fight rather than battling to gain the referee's attention.
Horn Sr says his son is desperate to save his career but he would not allow him to cop another hiding.
"`Realistically, Jeff's time as a fighter is over if he doesn't win the Zerafa rematch,'' Horn Sr said, "but I think Jeff can turn it around. He understands the importance of the moment.''