The usually laid back and even quiet middleweight seems to have taken exception to some of the German-based Armenian’s comments in the lead up to their anticipated Féile an Phobail clash.
Meli has found his voice and hasn’t been afraid to hit back at some of the things his fellow unbeaten 160lbs fighter has said in the build-up.
‘Rayko Loewe’ most recently stated his amateur pedigree would prove the difference and enable him to secure a win that would progress him toward world level on the Top Rank card.
However, ‘Fredo’ warns the World and European Championship medal winner that professional boxing differs massively from the amateur game and predicts he will taste some real power on the Michael Conlan undercard.
“I’ve seen what Marutjan has been saying and there’s no doubt he did some impressive things as an amateur so that’s why he’s coming here saying he’s going to beat me and move up to world level.”
“The thing is, this isn’t amateur boxing. It’s the pros and that means no headguards and smaller gloves. I’ve shown in my last two bouts that I’ve developed some serious power and I plan to make him feel that on the night.”
The usually reserved mechanic, who fought and beat Rhys Pagan the last time pro boxing graced the Féile, is excited by the prospect of fighting on such an event and believes Marutjan provides him with the opportunity to progress his career.
“I’ve had a great camp. I’ve been working too but I’ve always done that. I’m good at two things – fixing cars and fighting!”
Meli’s career has been stop-start ever since his draw with Conrad Cummings back in 2015 but the Mac Man believes he can pole-vault into contender status with a big win this weekend.
The Belfast boxer explained how “I know this is a fantastic opportunity for me to push myself up the rankings and towards the title shots. It’s a great stage and it’s going to be a great night for the city as well as myself.”
“These are exciting times for Belfast boxing and I want to show on Saturday that I plan to play a big part in it all.”
A huge fight night is topped by Michael Conlan’s WBA & WBO Inter-Continental featherweight title clash with Diego Alberto Ruiz, while another local hero Paddy Gallagher challenges Chris Jenkins for the British & Commonwealth welterweight crowns.
There’s another key clash at 160lb in Luke Keeler vs. Luis Arias, and Padraig McCrory meets Dublin rival Steve Collins Jr for the Celtic super-middleweight crown as part of a stacked undercard.