From training partners to opponents, a bout between Michael Zerafa and Joel Camilleri is being negotiated for later this year - Photo: @joelcamako on Instagram

A bout between Michael Zerafa and Joel Camilleri is being targeted for later this year.

A bout between Michael Zerafa and recently crowned WBC Australasia Super Welterweight champion Joel Camilleri is being negotiated for the end of this year.

The news emerges just days after Zerafa was removed from his highly anticipated main event bout with Tim Tszyu in Newcastle on July 7. Complications with COVID-19 protocols impacting his team were cited by the 29-year-old Melbournian for the cancellation of the fight.

“The Victorian State Government said it’s not safe to travel. We didn’t ask to cancel the fight, we just said postpone it two to four weeks so it’s COVID safe,” Zerafa told Nunanboy Promotions.

As a next step, it was confirmed to The Inner Sanctum by sources close to Camilleri that he was approached by the Zerafa team regarding a bout.

While the number of rounds, venue, date and weight class have not been discussed, the teams behind the Zerafa v Camilleri fight will meet next week to lock in the details.

Melbourne will play host to the event should each party sign after agreeing in principle to fight.

Both fighters are familiar with each other, having former training partners for a number of years. In fact, Camilleri made his professional debut in 2012 as a replacement for Zerafa, where he knocked out Yuttana Wongda in Malvern.

“When Zerafa first pulled out of a fight when we were teammates in 2012, I stepped in against his opponent to make my pro debut. 9 years later we’re in negotiations to fight each other in what will be one of the biggest fights in Australia this year,” Camilleri said on his Instagram.

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In taking the Zerafa vs Camilleri bout, it appears that the former will be aiming to wrestle back some support in the court of public opinion.

This week, he has worn a lot of criticism for the way he has handled the bout with Tszyu. Approaching Camilleri is the first step in that process.

Camilleri is a former Tszyu opponent, losing a unanimous decision in 2019 to the fighter widely regarded as Australia’s next World champion.

There’s also plenty on the line in Zerafa v Camilleri for the man known as “CamaKO”.

The in-form Camilleri will be looking to build on an already impressive start to 2021. The former Australian champion added to his belt collection, capturing the WBC Australasia Super Welterweight title in a gruelling 10 round affair with Tasmania’s Luke “Fast and Cocky” Woods.

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