Zelfa Barrett: All eyes are on me

‘Brown Flash’ Zelfa Barrett is eager to illustrate his pedigree when he makes his Matchroom debut against unbeaten Irishman Eric Donovan on the third Fight Camp promotion in Brentwood on August 14. 

Super-featherweight Barrett, talented nephew of former WBO title challenger Pat ‘Black Flash’ Barrett, was supposed to fight on the original Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin undercard in Manchester before the Covid-19 Pandemic halted those plans. 

Instead of boxing in a big arena, Barrett will now fight in the gardens of Matchroom HQ, but the Mancunian says the lack of fans in attendance will have no bearing on his performance and inevitably draw more eyes to television screens. 

“There’s no crowd, so everyone will be turning in to watch it on TV,” said Barrett (23-1, 14 KOs). “The viewing figures are going to be huge. A fighter will fight anywhere. A true fighter will fight anywhere. People say, ‘some fighters need crowds’ or whatever but to me it’s all rubbish.

“When you put those little gloves on and you put your shorts on; you’re in a fight. No matter what anyone else says, you’re in a fight. You get that same feeling with one person watching or 50,000 people watching. Those fans can’t help you when you’re in the ring. 

“You might hear the crowd when things are going good but you won’t hear the crowd when things are going bad. You’re in a fight, you’re there to do a job and you’ve got an opponent on the other side of the ring. A fight is a fight.

“I have to put on a performance because all eyes are on me. It’s not like another show is taking place on the same day. It’s just our show. Fighters are entertainers as well as fighters. I’ll put on a performance no doubt. I don’t train this hard and live a fighter’s life to not put on a performance. It’s my dream to fight live on TV and put on a performance. 

“The opportunities are endless with [promoter] Eddie [Hearn],” he added. “You’ve just got to be ready. I’m like a Josh Warrington or a Kid Galahad – I live in the gym. I’m a gym rat. There’s so many opportunities out there in my weight division. Confidence is everything. You can have all of the ability in the world but if you don’t believe in it then you’re not going anywhere. I believe I’m one of the best fighters in Britain.”