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Ariak no phobia – Unusually excited Meli not fearful of Olympian

You can’t get any less showbiz than turning up to weigh in in your work overalls during a lunch break, stepping on the scales and heading back to garage.

Alfredo Meli [16(5)-0-1] is Irish boxing’s most unassuming fighter.

However, having been handed a slot on the massive Féile an Phobail and been given a fight with a highly touted former amateur of note the Belfast fighter is finally expressing some real excitement. 

The mechanic, whose boxing engine is often praised, has assured fans not to miss the August 3rd Falls Park event to be topped by Michael Conlan versus Vladimir Nikitin nor to miss a fight he believes will propel him toward world level.

“As a proud born-and-bred Belfast man, I’m delighted to have this opportunity to fight at Féile an Phobail, which is a huge event for this city.”

“This is going to be a special night for Belfast and a special night for boxing in general because there’s never been a stage like this before. Don’t miss it,” said a more vibrant than usual Meli.

The excitement doesn’t just come from having a slot on the ESPN+ broadcast Top Rank card, ‘Fredo’s’ levels of anticipation have been increased by the level of opponent.

The 29-year-old, who drew with Conrad Cummings in his biggest fight to date back in 2015, takes on  Rio Olympian and World Championship bronze medal winner Araik Marutjan [8(2)-0] on a card that also see’s Anthony Cacace challenge Sam Bowen for the British super featherweight title. 

The latest Mac Man on the scene believes the German based Armenian provides him with the perfect chance to progress from underrated to rated.

“I believe I’m one of the most underrated middleweights out there and in facing another undefeated, highly-touted prospect in Marutjan, I’ve got another chance to prove I’m on my way to the top.”


The German has similar ‘reach the top’ ideas and is confident he will upset the home support en route to progressing toward title fights.

“I’m really happy to be boxing in Belfast. I’d like to thank my promoter the Sauerland Brothers and MTK Global for this opportunity,” Martujan explained.

“Alfredo Meli is a good opponent and has the home advantage. Nevertheless, I am sure of my victory. I hope to be boxing for my first title soon after a successful fight in Belfast.”

Already confirmed to star alongside the grudge match between former Olympic rivals Conlan and Nikitin are two more Belfast boxers in Paddy Barnes and Sean McComb.

MTK claim further details of fights and fighters will be forthcoming in due course.


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com