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‘I know nothing’ – ‘Manuel’ Meli admits he wasn’t aware of opponent’s pedigree

Alfedo Meli claims he had no clue who he was up against on Saturday gone.

Ireland’s most unassuming fighter, who ended up walking to the ring to the sounds of ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ by the Baha men because he laughed off the suggestion of picking a ring walk tune, produced the win of his career at the Falls Park and produced a victory that could open serious doors for him.

However, whilst he knew he had just been in with a talented operator having battled his way to victory over eight rounds he claims he was ignorant to his opponent’s pedigree and illustrious past.

The fact his team were disgusted the fight played out so far down the card and had the game plan to perfection suggested they knew of Araik Marutjan and his capabilities – but the Belfast middle revealed he was unaware his opponent was a World Championships bronze medal winner and a European Championship silver medalist who competed in the WSB and APB before teaming up with Sauerland promotions.

Not that having access to that information would have mattered anyway.

“I didn’t know that,” he responds when asked about scalping such a successful amateur post fight.

“It wouldn’t bother me anyway. You’ve seen now and before I perform brilliant against better fighters.”

While he didn’t know much about what  he was up against on the massive Feile card Saturday, Meli does know what he wants next. The latest Mac Man is keen on big fights and after a stop start career the full time mechanic wants to get motoring.

“I want to go for it again I want to get up on the world stage. I want a big move on now.”

Who would he like that to be against? Who knows?

“I don’t care. I haven’t changed at all. I will fight anyone. That’s me I accept fights without even checking out the opponent. I just know I want big fights.”

‘Fredo’ didn’t know too much about the German based Armenian, but his team had done their homework. 

They worked to take away the now formerly undefeated 160lbs fighters right hand by working up close and felt their fighter had a better chance if he applied a high work rate. 

The game plan was to cut the space, make it hard work for him and easy work for me,” Meli added.

That was the case for the majority of the fight, but the Belfast fighter did get caught with a massive right hand and visited the canvas as a result.

However, he managed to recover to not only see the final bell but register a points victory.

“He caught me with a good shot, but I recovered. With good quality of men around me I knew how to recover quick. I didn’t that and I got back onto the horse and got on the attack again. That was the main thing and that was what was winning me rounds.”




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