Former world kick boxing champion Ronnie Clark is promising fight fans an almighty kick-off when he bumps beaks with unbeaten Manchester starlet Zelfa Barrett in a scheduled 10 rounder for the IBF European Super-Featherweight strap at London’s York Hall next Saturday.
‘I’ve always just wanted to fight the best and give the public who pay a lot of money what they deserve. I’m not remotely interested in boxing politics,’ says the 33 year old Scottish southpaw was more than willing to step into the firing line against one of the most explosive young prospects on the circuit.
‘I’ve been surprised how mollycoddled and protected so many ‘so called’ boxing prospects are. Big respect to Zelfa for stepping up. I’ve not seen a lot of him – I always focus exclusively on myself – but there’s no doubt he’s a really good fighter. Fair play to any fighter who sells tickets and is doing well.’
‘Brown Flash’ Barrett has won 19 straight, and has slaughtered nine of his last ten inside the stipulated distance but the former British title challenger from Dundee is utterly unfazed.
‘Look, I don’t have fear of people or of getting hurt,’ insists this frighteningly fierce competitor who has been halted just once – in the tenth and final round of an October 2015 Celtic title clash with Belfast’s Anthony Cacace – during a combat career that includes over 100 kick-boxing contests, 11 amateur starts and 26 pro gigs (just four losses).
‘When I got stopped by Cacace there were a million things wrong in my life. I wasn’t living in the gym and stupidly didn’t take on any water during the fight. It was dehydration rather than ‘Anto’s’ power that did me.’
If Zelfa carries a marginal edge in firepower – Clark boasts 10 stoppage wins of his own – the 5ft 8 ½ in Taysider holds a massive sway in combative experience. Whilst the 24 year old Manc has travelled beyond round six just once, rockin’ Ronnie has travelled into round ten or beyond on half a dozen occasions whilst duelling with the likes of Ryan Walsh, Craig Evans and Martin J. Ward.
The fight should get mighty interesting if it reaches the second half.
‘I’ve been involved in combat sports since I was 7 years old and have always taken great pride pitching myself against all comers. That’s what it’s about,’ says Clark, who bagged the Scottish title in 2016.
‘I may be 33 years old but I’m definitely not past it. I’ve never had a difficult fight. I’m always keep myself in good shape and I’m extremely fit. My strength is my biggest thing.
‘I regularly spar bigger men and they’re freaked by my power. I’ve been gifted with a pair of hands that shouldn’t be on my body!
‘One of my brothers christened me ‘The Shark’ when I was kick-boxing; a wee bit of poetry but very apt. When I taste blood, I go for the ‘kill’!
The Mark Dunlop managed Scot enters on the back of three straight victories and knows that a fourth will leave him primely positioned to challenge for major titles again.
‘If I didn’t believe that I’d win, I’d not have taken this fight,’ he concludes.
‘I don’t doubt myself, one bit. I’m blessed in that there’s not a superfeather alive, I don’t think I could beat…well, maybe one. If they offered me
‘Loma’ (Vasyl Lomachenko), they might find I’d got a hair appointment booked!
‘This fight is for real and I’m really looking forward to it. I WANT Zelfa to bring his best, cos I’ll definitely be bringing mine.’