Jeff Horn has predicted a bloody brawl when he meets Michael Zerafa in a domestic grudge match on the Victorian goldfields in Australia this weekend.

The former WBO welterweight champion will make his debut as a fully-fledged middleweight against Zerafa at the Bendigo Stadium on Saturday night.

The regional centre of Bendigo was reportedly named after a local grazier nicknamed ‘Bendigo’ after the English bareknuckle prize-fighter Willian Abednego ‘Bendigo’ Thompson.

Boxing was a popular form of entertainment during the Victorian goldrush during the mid-1800s when the southern Australian state was the great producer of gold in the world.

The location seems a natural fit for two pugs looking to break heads and bust noses as they look to get themselves back into the world title mix.

“Most likely there’s going to be blood in Bendigo. It’s going to be a tough fight, it’s going to be a war,” said Horn 19-1-1 (13) at the final press conference on Thursday.

“Most likely both of us are coming out with blood on our faces. Hopefully, Michael will have more than I will.”

The 31-year-old Horn is coming off a nine-month layout following his 96-second blowout of Anthony Mundine and time off for the birth of his second daughter.

The time out of the ring has allowed him to grow into the middleweight division where he says he will be stronger than ever.

“I normally have to fight the scales before getting in and fighting, so that’s one less fight I have before this one. I don’t feel as drained as I normally do this time,” he said.

If Horn manages to turn back the challenge of Zerafa he will travel on to Japan to face 2012 Olympic gold medallist and current WBA ‘regular’ middleweight titleholder Ryoto Murata 15-2 (12) on December 23.

But Zerafa 26-3 (15) is confident of upsetting the applecart after a strong showing in a losing effort against former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook in the UK last December.

“That loss has really geed me up, now it’s time to go out and lay it on the line,” the 27-year-old Melburnian said.

“If I can beat Jeff, or once I beat Jeff, they should definitely give me that fight [against Murata]. The fact that they have already looked past me is a big mistake.”

Source: Anthony Cocks