Zelfa Barrett Determined to Become World Champion Over Rakhimov!
Zelfa “Brown Flash” Barrett (26-1, 18KOs) is on the cusp of realizing his dream of becoming a world champion. In order to obtain that goal, he’ll have to get past a very tough and formidable Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (16-0-1, 13KOs). The two fighters will clash for the vacant IBF 130-pound title on the undercard of the Dmitry Bivol vs. Gilberto Ramirez WBA 175-pound title fight. All the action will air live from the Etihad Arena in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, on DAZN at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Barrett finds himself in this vacant-title fight after former champion Joe Cordina, who was supposed to be making his first title defense against Rakhimov, was stripped of his title after sustaining a hand injury. Being the second-ranked contender, he was next in line. Both of these fighters are hungry to become champions, and the confidence Barrett feels ahead of this fight isn’t hard to notice.
During their final press conference, Barrett made it no secret that while he respects Rakhimov, he fully expects to win. Not only that, he said he plans to showcase all of his skills in his toolbox in the process.
“No doubt. I do believe I will become a World Champion. I’m in the ring with a great fighter. Rakhimov is a good fighter. I’ve studied him. He’s got good trainers. behind him, but I believe in myself. I’ve been in the gym. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for all of my life. Every single A tool in my box is going to come out. I’m cool, and I’m ready. It’s going to happen, and I’m ready to become a world champion.”
IS BARRETT’S TIME NOW?
After seemingly thinking an opportunity to fight for a world title was at least a year away, Brown Flash suddenly feels like the timing is perfect for him to become a world champion.
“Timing is everything in life. It’s just funny how it happened. Obviously, with Joe and his hand injury, he got stripped, and I’m next up. When I was thinking about the real side of boxing, I was thinking, “Hmm I could be a world champion next year or Later on, Joe will fight Rakhimov, and I’ll get the winner —there might be a unification fight, so I might have to wait again’. It just came at the right time. Like I said, I’ve been in the gym. I’ve been training, and I’m ready. My time is now.
He’s a very good fighter. I respect him as a fighter. He won the IBO world title. I keep saying it, he’s a good fighter, but I believe in myself. This level is about belief. It’s not about anything else, and I believe in myself. I truly believe I’ll be a world champion, I believe it.”
We’ll see if the pre-fight confidence translates to a champion-crowning performance come fight night.
By: Jerrell Fletcher