Alfredo Meli [16(5)-0-1] has told fellow undefeated middleweight Araik Marutjan [8(2)-0] he can’t begin to comprehend the atmosphere that awaits him at Féile an Phobail.
The German based Armenian has dismissed suggestions he will buckle under the pressure of a potential 10,000 plus Falls Park crowd.
Indeed, the highly rated Olympian points out he prefers to fight on the road and claims all the pressure will be on ‘Fredo’ come the Feile show next weekend.
And after Marutjan claimed he will welcome the boisterous atmosphere of the sold-out 10,000 outdoor arena, Meli returned fire.
“I’m a proud Belfast man and I know how passionate the people of this city are about boxing. When they get behind one of their own, it must be tough to deal with.
“Marutjan is coming from overseas and although I know he was successful as an amateur and fought around the world, I doubt he’ll have encountered something like this before.
“I’m so pleased to have this chance to fight on my home turf in such a meaningful bout. I feel I can reach world level and this is the biggest chance I’ve had to show that.”
Marutjan is a fighter with a respectable amateur back ground who hasn’t put a foot wrong in the pros. He comes to Belfast expecting to bring his career to the next level, but the latest Mac Man Meli warns that won’t happen.
The full time mechanic, who was involved in a highly entertaining clash with Rhys Fagan the last time the Feile hosted a boxing event, is confident he has the tools to record a big win on the Michael Conlan undercard.
“I know Marutjan is a high-class fighter but so am I. I believe I hold the edge and with the huge crowd rooting for me and the desire I already have to succeed, I’m in no doubt that I’ll win this fight.”
Joining Meli vs. Marutjan and Conlan vs. Ruiz on a bumper bill is a British & Commonwealth title bout between Paddy Gallagher and Chris Jenkins, a Celtic super-middleweight title clash between Padraig McCrory and Steve Collins Jr and another meaningful middleweight showdown between Luke Keeler and Luis Arias.
A busy undercard stars Olympic hero Paddy Barnes, Sean McComb against the entertaining Renald Garrido, Dennis McCann, Callum Bradley, Sean Duffy and Dee Sullivan.