BBN's 'Boxing Fan Man' looks into what fights could be made for Matchroom's newest signing.
Manchester based Zelfa ‘Brown Flash’ Barrett made a name for himself as he developed under Frank Warren’s Queensbery Promotions, racking up a record of 23-1.
An athletic super-featherweight, he is equally adept at boxing on the back-foot or forcing the action on the front-foot. He has fast hands and switches from body to head with effortless fluidity. His exciting style and penchant for becoming embroiled in fan-friendly wars caught the attention of Eddie Hearn who recently signed him to his Matchroom stable.
Now 26 years old and soon to be entering his prime, Barrett is expected to carry the torch for boxing in Manchester. So what potential matchups could be on the horizon for this budding young star?
BBN's Anish Parekh took a look into the possibilities out there:
This would be a great clash between two men attempting to progress their careers.
Cordina is a 2016 Olympian with good fundamentals, respectable power and has impressed with his performances so far. However, at 28 years old, he will be frustrated with spells of inactivity that has stunted his development.
A contest with Barrett would surely be a step up in competition and both men have plenty to gain from claiming the others scalp, as it would serve as a significant victory to make the rest of the division pay attention.
When a Scouser and Mancunian engage in any competition, it becomes a heated battle fueled by pride, whereby the winner claims bragging rights for their beloved city.
Imagine Manchester or Echo Arena packed to the rafters with avid fans creating a raucous atmosphere. Their chants and cheers providing their fighter with the energy needed to edge superiority over the other.
Smith, now 34, is perhaps past his best but is still a handful and has a recognisable name that Barrett would benefit from having on his record. The second oldest of the fighting Smith brothers has only ever been defeated by world level opponents – Lee Selby, Jose Pedraza, Jason Sosa and Francisco Vargas – but gave a commendable account of himself in those losses.
Smith’s high-octane style would mesh well with the ‘Brown Flash’, to create a brawl whereby the more nuanced aspects or the sweet science are neglected in favour of a sizzling slice of savagery to satisfy fight-fans.
If Barrett has joined the Matchroom stable to represent Manchester, then he must be looking ahead at a potential collision with the flamboyant Jono Carroll and avenge the defeat of fellow Mancunian, Scott Quigg.
Whilst Quigg showed signs of being far removed from his peak, Carroll deserves the credit for providing a comprehensive beat-down, where he stopped the former world champion and sent him hurtling into retirement.
He is a tricky southpaw, who has good lateral movement, an effective jab and good upper-body movement, combined with a decent engine.
He has often been accused of lacking power, claiming a meager four knockouts from his 18 victories, but his toughness and willingness to engage in toe-to-toe warfare means he is no pushover. He showed greater dedication to close the show and threw with malevolent intentions in his career-best performance against Quigg, who must now be rueing his criticism of Carroll for having “pillow fists.”
Jono is not the shy and retiring type. He speaks his mind and is an excellent self-promoter. He revels in goading opponents and history tells us that animosity that brews between fighters is always a key ingredient in creating a mouth-watering clash.
A confrontation with Carroll would be a tough task, considering how sky-high the Irishman’s confidence will be at this moment. However, it would be a entertaining back and forth scrap, which would propel Barrett into the world scene if he was to come out victorious.
Follow Anish on Twitter here: @theboxingfanman