FAROOQ IS FAVOURITE
THIS Thursday (September 27) sees the renewal of a longstanding tradition in British boxing when Scots Ukashir Farooq and Jamie Wilson meet for the vacant British bantamweight title at St Andrew’s Sporting Club in Glasgow (Saltire Boxing).
These two are just the latest in a long line of good Scottish ‘little men’ – and adding spice is that Pakistan-born Farooq is from Glasgow and Wilson from Dundee; a bit of regional rivalry never hurt, did it?
On the face of it, Farooq starts favourite. He has the better record at 9-0 (3) to Wilson’s 11-2 (1), and while Jamie was taken the full six rounds by Jose Hernandez on June 7, nine days later Farooq stopped the Barcelona-based Nicaraguan in just two rounds.
Ukashir, 22, also holds two wins against Scott Allan, outpointing him over 10 in January 2017 and stopping him in round eight of a rematch for the Scottish 118lb title in November.
But Wilson, 26, has evidence in his favour too. He stopped Craig Derbyshire in two rounds, whereas Farooq could only outpoint the gritty Yorkshireman.
And, crucially, Jamie has experience of the 12-round title distance. While an April 2015 vacant Commonwealth super-fly title bout brought a six-round retirement defeat against Anthony Nelson, in July 2017 Wilson lost only narrowly (one point twice, four points once) to Josh Wale for the vacant British bantam belt.
It’s a tricky once to pick. Ukashir carries the heavier punch, but hasn’t encountered great adversity as a pro. Jamie knows he can go 12 rounds, but has lost his two biggest tests.
Tentatively, we’ll go for Farooq to rise to the occasion and win on points in a real battle.
SECOND BEST: Wilson jabs Nelson during a loss in 2015