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Farrell Hopes Featherweight Move Will Bring Further European Success

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Birmingham’s Niall Farrell will be looking to add a second medal at the European Championships, albeit at a different weight, as he travels to Armenia as part of the GB squad for this week’s tournament. Farrell has previously taken home a silver medal in 2017 from Kharkiv, Ukraine at flyweight and now he will be looking add a featherweight medal to his collection.

Farrell believes he is more than capable of leaving Armenia with a medal around his neck and is certain that the added pressure of competing against Europe’s best in the 57kg division will drive him on and prove he is one of the standout fighters on the continent.

“I’m a fighting man and I hate training, so I’m ready to get out there in Armenia and do what I do best,” Farrell said. “I’ve got experience of being in these major tournaments and I’ve already got a medal at this tournament before, so I know how tough it is and what it is going to take.

“There’s a few lads who haven’t experienced the Europeans but you pick it up quick when you’re out there and get on with the job. A lot of the best nations and fighters are there, so you don’t get a chance to build up to it, as it’s all systems go straight away.”

“Now I’m up at featherweight I feel great and I know what is in front of me. But that is what I want – to fight the best guys on the biggest stage and prove I’m one of the best. I raise my level to who I’m fighting and I feel it’s coming at the right time for me. I’m going to really make this count.”

Farrell was fortunate enough to be part of the large contingent from GB that travelled to Tokyo for last year’s delayed Olympic Games. Farrell was able to take in the Olympic experience, whilst helping the likes of gold medallist Galal Yafai, Peter McGrail and Luke McCormack prepare for the Games.

He has stated the experience has only made him hungrier to compete in his own Olympics in 2024 in Paris, however he is well aware of how important the other major tournaments in terms of building momentum. 2022 is a big year for all of the GB fighters with the Commonwealth Games also on the horizon.

The Games has always been a favourite for the GB fighters and that will certainly be the case for Farrell, who has the opportunity to represent his country in his home city. The 24-year-old is already one of the faces of the Games, but he is refusing to look past this week’s Europeans, which get underway for him on Wednesday when he faces Sweden’s Nebil Ibrahim.

“When I was out in Tokyo it was like my own fly on the wall experience. Being there to support Galal, Peter and Luke and helping them prepare was brilliant and it really opened my eyes to where I want to be. Even though I wasn’t fighting, my focus kicked in and in 2024 that is going to be me.

“Seeing all the attention that was on them was mind blowing and it was the culmination of all those years of training. They had everyone round them and it has made me want that as well. Every tournament counts and the Europeans are another major step on the road to 2024.

“I’ve done a lot of media for the Commonwealth Games and I’ve loved it. I’ve gone into schools and all sorts, but I’m not overlooking the Europeans. The experience you get from fighting all over the world with GB is priceless and I can’t wait to get out there.

“Travelling around with the other lads and fighting in these tournaments is unbelievable. We have such a laugh, but when the time comes to get serious we do, as these competitions are gruelling. I’ve had around 110 fights now and fought every style, so I feel that I’m set up perfectly to go and grab another medal in Armenia.”

By Matt Bevan (@Matt_Bevan68)