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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

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