Michael Zerafa sees former world champion Anthony Mundine as a stepping stone on his collision course with Tim Tszyu.
Whether Tszyu feels the same way is another matter altogether, after he brushed Zerafa’s advances following his first-round demolition of Bowyn Morgan in December.
But the Victorian fighter will nevertheless have Tszyu firmly in mind when he steps back into the ring for the first time in 15 months for Saturday night’s bout with Mundine in Bendigo.
“Tim Tszyu is scared,” Zerafa told AAP.
“He’s worried, he knows that I can beat him. His team said that I’m a hard fight.
“They saw the two wars that I had with Jeff Horn, they saw what I did with Kell Brook, and Tim Tszyu’s not at that level.”
Zerafa accused Tszyu – son of Russian-born Australian boxing legend Kostya Tszyu – of living off his famous father’s name and predicted their showdown will happen sooner rather than later.
“If you take away his last name they’d be saying, ‘Tim who’, not Tim Tszyu,” Zerafa said.
“For me, it’s just a matter of time. He can’t run forever.
“He’s just fighting welterweights for the sake of it, but I’m here.
“They say they’re struggling to find opponents, but mate, I’m in Melbourne. I don’t get it.”
Mundine, 45, admits he is on his last legs in boxing, but wants to go out on his own terms after losing four of his last five fights.
He’s also making noises about a career in politics.
Zerafa, who is 17 years younger than Mundine, grew up idolising ‘The Man’.
But he would love nothing more than to be the final note on Mundine’s record, which stands at 48-10.
“It would be a dream come true,” Zerafa said.
“He’s a legend of sport – not only in boxing, but in NRL.
“He’s just a phenomenal athlete and, to me, his last name is a world title.
“I’ve left no stone unturned and I want to go out there and make a real statement and put a full-stop to Anthony Mundine.”