Zelfa Barrett Media Day ahead of his upcoming fight against Jordan Gill as. he stands by The Largest advertsing screen in Manchester with the fight poster on.
4 April 2024
Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
‘Brown Flash’ headlines famous fight arena against Gill
Zelfa Barrett becomes the latest fighter from Manchester to headline the famous AO Arena this Saturday April 13 when he takes on a resurgent Jordan Gill in a must-win Super-Featherweight clash, shown live worldwide on DAZN

‘Brown Flash’, nephew of former British and European Champion Pat ‘Black Flash’ Barrett, follows in the footsteps of the likes of Ricky Hatton, Anthony Crolla and Michael Gomez when he climbs into the ropes to main event at the world-renowned arena that has hosted some of the biggest names in boxing. 

Chatteris’ Gill, a former European and Commonwealth Champion at Featherweight, stunned Irish hero Michael Conlan with a seventh-round stoppage win on away territory at the SSE Arena Belfast last December and immediately called for a World Title shot in his post-fight interview.

Standing in ‘The Thrill’s’ way of a dream World Title shot is former World Title challenger Barrett, and the 30-year-old has further World Title aspirations of his own having come up short against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov for the IBF title in Abu Dhabi. 

“Being from Manchester and topping the AO Arena, or the MEN Arena as a lot of people will always call it, is a massive achievement,” said Barrett. “I always knew at one point in my life I’d top it. Watching Hatton there, Crolla, Quigg – that motivates me. That makes me want to eat good and train hard. It makes me work harder in the gym because it’s my moment, it’s my time. People are spending their hard-earned money coming to see me. I’m not going to disappoint them.

“I’ve always wanted to headline the arena, watching and being in the changing rooms with Anthony Crolla and Scott Quigg, I’d always thought one day I’ll be there winning a World Title. This fight is like a World Title because I know how good Jordan Gill is. He’s well-schooled, got a good team around him, so it’s given me the grit in my teeth to perform.

“We’re similar in styles and that’s why I wanted to spar him back in the day because we’re similar, it’s funny how the tables turn and we’re now fighting each other. It’s an exciting fight and all of my people will be there. We’ve prepared for the best version of Jordan, so that’s going to bring the best version of me out. We know we’ve got a fighter who’s got a good trainer, got a good team around him, so my mind is on the job.”

From the working class estates to the bustling gyms dotted all over the city, Manchester has birthed a lineage of fighters who embody the city’s spirit of resilience, determination, and triumph over adversity. Barrett says growing up on the notorious Harpurhey inner-city suburb helped shape him into the man and fighter that he is today. 

“Not many people from my area reach the heights that I’m reaching,” said Barrett. “A lot of people my age are in jail or have died. We’ve all done the same stuff as estate kids, been through the same things as estate kids. That’s why people respect me, because I’m from the same place they’re from. I’ve done the same things they’ve done. I had a great family to support me. Look at me now, topping the AO Arena. It’s a big thing for me, for my family and for Manchester.

“We just did what estate kids done – we made fun out of nothing. We were all like a little family. There’s memories there. Good memories, bad memories, crazy memories, life threatening memories. What’s life without memories? To break that mould and to become somebody. To prove to people and to show people around and people younger than me that if you sacrifice and dedicate yourself to anything that you want to do or overcome in life you can.

“The things that are happening to me in my life, it’s like I’ve lived two lives. Obviously I lost my Mum, I lost my brother – that would turn a lot of people insane. I just use that pain in my life and put it into boxing. I use it to motivate me to become a better person; to become a somebody. My mum would have been proud of me, and she is now. She’s my best friend. Not just my mum, literally my best friend.

“Manchester has been screaming for a fighter and I’m top of the tree. If I can get a win over Jordan, the world is mine. Respect goes out of the window on fight night; its dog eat dog. I just believe I’m a better fighter than Jordan – he hits hard, but I hit harder. He’s fast, but I’m faster. There’s no way I’m going to lose this fight.”

Gill vs. Barrett tops a huge night of boxing in Manchester, Catford’s Ellie Scotney (8-0) aims to unify the Super-Bantamweight division when she puts her IBF World Title on the line against France’s WBO World Champion Segolene Lefebvre (18-0, 1 KO), Warrington’s Rhiannon Dixon (9-0, 1 KO) looks to win her first World Title when she takes on Argentina’s Karen Elizabeth Carabajal (21-1, 3 KOs) for the vacant WBO 140lbs crown, Manchester’s Michael Gomez Jr (20-1, 5 KOs) defends his English Super-Featherweight Title against Birmingham’s Kane Baker (19-10-2, 1 KO), Liverpool Middleweight prospect Ste Clarke (1-0, 1 KO) meets Swindon’s Jensen Irving (4-9) over four rounds, Oxford Lightweight Jordan Flynn (9-0-1, 1 KO) fights Tanzania’s Tampela Maharusi (10-4-4, 5 KOs) over 8 rounds, Liverpool Super-Flyweight Jack Turner (5-0, 5 KOs) goes for another knockout against Abdul Kesi Ngaoma (7-5-1, 6 KOs), Brentwood Middleweight Jimmy Sains (3-0, 3 KOs) has his fourth pro fight against Mateusz Kalecki(2-1, 1 KO), Manchester Super-Welterweight William Crolla (3-0, 2 KOs) faces Italy’s Fabio Cascone (4-9, 1 KO) over six rounds and Swansea Super-Bantamweight Brandon Scott (6-0, 1 KO) returns for his first fight since last August when he takes on Rodrigo Matias Areco (5-5-2) over six rounds. 
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