It’s a real 50/50 affair at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow this Saturday night, as two likeable Scotsmen clash for the British and Commonwealth Bantamweight Titles. 23 year old Glasgow based outright Lonsdale Belt holder, Kash Farooq (13-0, KO6) and Edinburgh’s 22 year old Commonwealth Champion, Lee McGregor (7-0, KO6) clash in a fight that doesn’t need any type of needle to sell. IFL TV on YouTube and BBC Scotland are the places to watch in the UK, while Top Rank ESPN pick up the action for the USA audience.
Farooq has boxed mainly on dinner shows in Glasgow on BBC Scotland, but has impressed since capturing the vacant British Title in September last year in a one round demolition of Jamie Wilson. Wilson was down three times in just over a minute in a ruthless display. He has since defended at the Emirates Arena against Iain Butcher in a landslide points win last November. Kyle Williams was stopped in five in April, and in his last outing, Farooq brutally stopped Duane Winters with a left to the body inside a round in August to own the prestigious belt outright.
Lee McGregor will certainly represent Farooq’s biggest test, as Farooq will do likewise for “Lightning” Lee.
McGregor had a solid amateur background, and has been matched well so far in a seven fight paid career. He picked up the Commonwealth crown in October last year in a thriller with the always game Thomas Essomba. McGregor was dropped in the fourth, but roared back to stop Essomba in the twelfth and final frame. His last appearance came back in June, in an eighth round stoppage win against Scott Allan in his first defence of the rainbow belt. Allan is a common opponent of both McGregor and Farooq, with Kash stopping Allan in the same eighth round in a Scottish Title defence in November 2017, as well as outscoring him over ten in January of the same year.
Prediction: This fight has the makings of a classic, with both men possessing power, as well as eye catching boxing skills. McGregor does have the tendency to engage in tear ups that he doesn’t have to, and can sometimes be reckless. I think Farooq will use his punches wisely, and may hurt the Edinburgh man on occasions. The tentative pick here is for Farooq to come through on a tight points verdict.
The undercard is understandably sparse, with the main event being such a good match up.
Chief support comes from Greenrigg resident Kieran Smith (15-0, KO7) as he defends his WBC International Silver Super Welterweight Title for the second time. His opponent is also undefeated, as Rome’s Vincenzo Bevilacqua (16-0, KO0) is the challenger for the belt.
Smith won the vacant strap in November last year at the same Glasgow venue, with an up and down points win against Evaldas Korsakas. Smith was down in the third, but knocked the Lithuanian down in the ninth to secure a win and the Title. Smith has fought twice in 2019, a fifth round retirement win against Jan Balog in March was followed by a defence of his Title against Ivan Montero, again at the Emirates. Smith dominated for a technical decision win after Montero suffered a nasty cut on his nose.
Bevilacqua is a real unknown quantity, and fights outside of his native Italy for the first time as a pro. The 26 year old doesn’t have a stoppage win on his record in 16 outings, and is the reigning WBC Mediterranean Champion, as well as a former Italian Champion. He was last seen in July in Rome, outscoring the 9-3-1 Novak Radulov over six rounds.
Prediction: Although Smith has been dropped in his career, I can’t see the Italian repeating the trick due to his lack of punch power. This one looks like a Smith points win, and a pretty comfortable one at that.
Tommy Philbin (12-0, KO4) is in action over eight at Light Heavyweight, and hot prospect Paddy Donovan (1-0, KO1) meets Nicaraguan, Danny Mendoza (6-5, KO4) in a Welterweight six rounder.