By Thomas Lyons
It often brings attention to the wider boxing audience when two fighters come to the centre of the ring, in different stages of their professional career to offer fans a true 50-50 spectacle. As Ronnie Clark eluded to at today’s Frank Warren, BT Sports & Boxnation press conference in London, ahead of Saturday nights’ York Hall appearance, he is coming to win and predicts that taking the fight was a ‘step too far’ and that undefeated Zelfa Barrett (19-0, 12 KOs), who has dealt with every opponent put in front of him swiftly, has ‘bit off more than he can chew.’
The Manchester fighter picked up the English Super-Featherweight title which rewarded the young prospect for his exceptional first chapter to his professional career. Nicknamed the ‘Brown Flash’, its fair to say Barrett is a charismatic figure inside and outside the ring but remains humble when stepping up like this one against Clark (20-4-2) are issued. The Dundee man has mixed with some top fighters, most notably his winning record suggests this. Taking Martin J Ward is certainly his most recognised accolade and just emphasised the preparation needed to make the step up in levels. Three consecutive victories after the MJW loss have elevated Clark back into contention and his task now is to derail the hype surrounded by another tipped British prospect such as Zelfa Barrett.
Besides the notion of unbeaten records and pressure to deliver, Barrett understands the task at hand and Ronnie Clark is certainly no mug and when a fighter feels he can win the fight by any means necessary, you know you’re going to get a toe-to-toe fight for 8, 10 or 12 rounds. Barrett will need to bring his A-game and be able to use his ring intelligence developed under the influence of his uncle and trainer Pat to illustrate why he is so talked about on the domestic scene.
Moreover, the platform has given the 24-year-old the opportunity to showcase his skills learnt from in the gym and execute these in producing an emphatic and entertaining display each time he fights. From a hardcore perspective it would be silly to overlook Ronnie Clark as he does provide determination and ambition to win every fight he is involved in, and therefore, Barrett is far from going to have an easy night on Saturday and will test what he’s really made of by stepping up in class.