Horn gains revenge over Zerafa with dramatic points win

By Christopher Devine 18 December 2019 3
Horn gains revenge over Zerafa with dramatic points win

A bloodied Jeff Horn gained dramatic revenge over Michael Zerafa with a majority decision victory in their rematch in Brisbane.

After stunning Horn in August, Zerafa vowed to end his rival's career with another knockout triumph on Wednesday.

The younger man looked set to prevail again as he dominated the ninth round of a bruising battle, a flurry of punches leaving former WBO welterweight champion Horn seemingly out on his feet.

But a devastating overhand right to the jaw, as his opponent aimed a hook from the same wing, sent Zerafa to the canvas and, although the 27-year-old got back up, he was unable to find the knockout he needed in the 10th and final round.

Two judges scored the fight in favour of Horn, by respective scores of 98-90 and 97-92, while the third viewed the contest as a 94-94 draw. 

Horn, who famously defeated Manny Pacquiao in 2017, therefore regains his WBO Oriental and WBO Oceania middleweight titles.

In bizarre scenes, Horn wore gloves bearing the name of his opponent, after his trainer complained of an apparent difference in padding and chose to use Zerafa's spare gloves.

A clash of heads in the opening round left Horn with a deep cut near his left eye, but he nevertheless gained a crucial advantage in the early rounds before doing just enough to prevail as his opponent, who was also bloodied, came roaring back.

Zerafa's preparations for the rematch had been overshadowed by the tragic death of his close friend Dwight Ritchie last month. Ritchie died after collapsing during a sparring session with Zerafa.

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Christopher Devine