FARRAG: ‘I’M LEVELS ABOVE BRAITHWAITE’
Ryan Farrag returns to the Liverpool Olympia after a 10-year exodus on June 9th, promising his Scouse derby fight against Marcel Braithwaite for the vacant Commonwealth Super Flyweight Title is one not to be missed.
Farrag and Braithwaite form part of a tremendous line-up that also sees another Liverpudlian, Connor Butler, defend his Commonwealth flyweight belt against Birmingham’s Matt Windle, with the European crown also on the line – and all the action broadcast LIVE AND FREE on Fightzone, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport app and website.
A pro since 2010 and with 21 wins from 25 fights – Farrag says he has never been in better condition as he heads into this pivotal contest. After spending a number of years plying his trade in Spain, the 35-year-old is now back in his home city under the tutelage of Derry Matthews, with the former world title challenger getting him in peak condition.
The younger man at 29 and a former English Champion, Braithwaite should prove a very tough test for Farrag. ‘The Chosen One’ has lost just three times in 18 outings and – despite losing on points both times – has mixed it up with world class operators, Sunny Edwards and Jay Harris.
Farrag – who also has a Sunny Edwards loss on his record – is adamant though that he is a few steps ahead of his Scouse compatriot in terms of levels. The former European Bantamweight Champion knows this is a must-win fight … but is confident he will be getting his glove raised, just as he did the last time he boxed at the Olympia in 2013.
“Marcel has been mixing it lately with some of the best so I see this as a big test,” said Ryan. “I won’t be overlooking him by any means and I’m expecting a tough night’s work.
“It’s definitely going to be a great fight to watch. I don’t know what kind of Marcel will turn up but, from what I’ve seen, he likes to have a go – and so do I! So, it’s definitely going to be fireworks.
“A fight between us has been talked about before, and with the whole Scouse derby thing, it’s always been an exciting fight but I just believe I’ll be a couple of levels above him. My experience will be important, he’s a good fighter but I feel he’s where I was at maybe six years ago.
“It’s been great working with Derry [Matthews]. I feel like my fitness has been something I’ve needed to improve in the past, and that box has been ticked now. And obviously Derry has all the experience so when it comes to help in a fight, he has answers because he’s been there and done it.
“The Olympia is a great venue and wherever you are in there you always get a great view. I love the atmosphere in there, everyone’s close together. It’s definitely going to be a good night; people are going to enjoy it. I’m going back to my grass roots by fighting in Liverpool again, and there’s nothing like fighting in your home city.
“I’ve been living a good life the last few years and I honestly feel better than I’ve ever felt. I’m eating and training better, and I feel young and fresh. I’m just looking at this fight against Marcel, but I know I’m in good hands with Dennis [Hobson] and Stephen [Vaughan] and I’ll let them concentrate on the future. I’ll do what I do best and perform on the night.”
Fight Academy and Fightzone’s Steve Crump, said: “I can’t wait for the headline fight on the night between Connor Butler and Matt Windle, but this fight between Ryan and Marcel is also going to be something special.
“When you have two fighters from the same city competing for a great belt like the Commonwealth, it can only mean one thing – guaranteed action. This is a fight that’s been talked about for a few years now, and I’m delighted we’ve got it on Fightzone and the BBC.”