Olympian Araik Marutjan believes home support will put pressure on Meli

Undefeated Araik Marutjan [8(2)-0] claims he will bask in the out door elements while blocking out a large Belfast crowd come August 3

The German based Armenian prospect  warns Alfredo Meli  [16(5)-0-1] home advantage will count for nothing when the pair clash on #MTKFightNight at Féile an Phobail on August 3.

The the undefeated duo trade leather in an anticipated clash on the undercard of Michael Conlan’s homecoming clash with Diego Alberto Ruiz. 

The bout which will be broadcast on on ESPN+ and BT Sports could potentially play out in front of packed 10,000 Belfast crowd, but the 26-year-old remains unperturbed.

The Rio Olympian claims the only voice he will hear on the night is that of his coach and  is determined not just to cope with the atmosphere but thrive in it.

“It is not the first time for me to fight someone in his hometown. That is not a problem at all for me, since I am able to not listen to the fans and noise too much. All I focus on is my fight and the voice of my coach,” he assures.

“Of course, thousands of Irish fans in the middle of a festival will be impressive, but as I said before, this doesn’t affect me in a negative way. Actually, I am enjoying the sound of the fans, a quiet crowd would but pretty boring.”

While  the former WSB operator claims the crowd won’t have any influence on his performance he suggests the Falls Park faithful  could have ‘Fredo’ feeling the pressure.

“I think as a boxer you are likely to be tense whenever you fight at home,” he adds before pointing out he prefers to operate on the road.

“So, I actually like fighting in different countries better and have fought my best battles in somebody else’s back yard. As an amateur, most of the tournaments where in foreign countries, so I am used to that feeling.

“The main thing is: I am just focusing on winning.”

The away fighter also adds the out door element of proceedings will be something he will enjoy.

“I have also fought under the sky before. That was during a tournament in Moldova. I actually like it a lot better than fighting in an arena. There is nothing better than breathing fresh air during a fight.

Alongside the battle of two unbeaten middleweights, former world amateur champion Michael Conlan tops the bill against Diego Alberto Ruiz, Paddy Gallagher and Chris Jenkins contest the British & Commonwealth welterweight crowns and Padraig McCrory and Steve Collins Jr fight it out for the Celtic super-middleweight title.

There’s a step up to world level for Luke Keeler against highly-rated American Luis Arias, with the likes of Paddy Barnes, Sean McComb, Dennis McCann, Callum Bradley, Sean Duffy and Dee Sullivan on the undercard.


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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 sport for a living for 19 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