Salford’s Marc Leach believes his best will be enough to outmanoeuvre Qais Ashfaq when the pair meet in a Final Eliminator for the British Super-Bantamweight Title this Saturday October 17, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
After losing his professional debut back in 2014, ‘Livewire’ has remained unbeaten, winning 14 and drawing one of his contests since. The 26-year-old, who trains with Jamie Moore at the V.I.P Gym in Astley, jumped at the opportunity to take on his former sparring partner Ashfaq and plans to ‘shine’ on the big stage.
“I was supposed to fight in March but it was cancelled two days before because of the pandemic", said Leach. "It was a bit of a setback, but it’s been a good turnaround for this fight and now is my time to shine.
"You can’t really take too much from sparring. It has been over a year since we sparred and he’s progressed his way, I’ve progressed my way. He may have learnt a few new tricks and skills but it’s all about who executes the game-plan right on the night.
"I believe it’s going to be a chess match for the first half of the fight because we’ve both got similar styles. I believe I have the speed to win, he’ll have the power, but I’m used to sparring people bigger and heavier than me. I feel stronger at this weight and can’t wait to perform.
Former amateur standout Ashfaq heads into this weekend's showdown in Peterborough as the favourite with the bookies, but English Bantamweight Champion Leach is relishing his underdog tag and is promising to deliver a career-best performance under the lights.
“Being the underdog to me means you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. This is on his show and he has all the hype around him. The pressure is on him to perform and I do believe if I perform my best, I will win this fight.
“I’ve got to start sharp and fast and keep that pace up throughout the fight. I believe I will win comfortably and confidently and I will get him out of his rhythm early to get the victory."
Ashfaq vs. Leach is part of a huge night of boxing at the East of England Arena in Peterborough, Geordie favourite Lewis Ritson (20-1, 12 KOs) takes on former long-reigning World Champion Miguel Vazquez (42-9, 16 KOs), Joe ‘Benwell Bomber’ Laws (9-0, 5 KOs) takes on Norwich's Rylan Charlton (5-0-1, 2 KOs) over six rounds at Super-Lightweight, West Rainton’s Thomas Patrick Ward (29-0, 4 KOs) fights Thomas Essomba (10-6, 4 KOs) over ten rounds at Super-Bantamweight and Catford's Ellie Scotney makes her professional debut against Bec Connolly (3-7) at Featherweight.