NEITHER of them train in the Central Area but the honour of holding the belt will still bring out the best in them according to the promoter Dave Coldwell.
Joe Elfidh, from Harworth, fights Belfast-based Kieran Farrell in Bolton tomorrow night for the lightweight Central Area title and to become the mandatory challenger for the English crown.
It’s a big fight for the Kent-based PE teacher, aged 32. A win will continue to raise his profile after his stunning win over former ABA champion Joe Hughes, a fight he took at short notice in which he suffered a first round knockdown.
Farrell, from Heywood, has re-located to Belfast to work with world title challenger Paul McCloskey’s trainer John Breen but he’ll be back in his home town on the night. His promoter Coldwell is anticipating a memorable clash.
He said: “Their styles should mesh for an enjoyable fight and I feel the time is right for Kieran to step up and show just why we at Coldwell Boxing have such faith in him.
“This should be the first of many title victories for Kieran and I expect him to achieve it in a cracking scrap.”
Elfidh was so highly-thought of in 2008 that he was taken to the Olympics and used as a sparring partner to medal hopefuls. He believes that this kind of experience will see him through against Farrell, who is 11 years his junior.
“I went to the Beijing with Jamie McDonnell to spar with Frankie Gavin and Bradley Saunders,” he said.
“I used to do four rounds with Frankie and then four with Bradley. To be fair, I held my own against them and they’re both great fighters.
“I wanted to face the top prospects and Kieran’s considered to be one too but I will be able to dig in harder than him.”
Elfidh recorded six wins between 2006-09 but then had a two and a half year break after his daughter was born.
He came back with a vengeance after beating Joe Hughes earlier this year and he believes that his refreshing attitude to boxing will help him to get places.
“I want to face the best to say that I am the best. Tommy Coyle turned down the fight with me and that was a joke,” he said.
Manager Stefy Bull feels similarly about Hull’s Coyle, who fights Martin Gethin for the English lightweight title in September. The winner of Elfidh-Farrell will face the winner of that match.
Coyle vacated the Central Area belt when Elfidh was accepted by the board as a challenger.
“Coyle didn’t want to fight Joe and would rather vacate his belt. It’s absolutely shameful that he can get away with it.
“Joe wants to face the best and will do. He’ll take the tough fights because he’s what I call a proper fighter.
“We hope that will help him to get to the top.”