Friendship will go out the window on October 12 when Ryan Farrag and fellow Scouser Mike Robinson clash for the Central Area bantamweight crown.
The sparring partners will go head-to-head at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium in a sure-fire war, with the whole bill being streamed live and free on VIPBOXING.TV.
On the night, Farrag is determined it will be him who leaves the ring with his first title. The 25-year-old is chasing a return with British champ Lee Haskins, the only man to beat him in 10 outings, and knows that a win over Robinson will take him one step closer to that goal.
For Mike, who has lost five of 13, this fight is a crossroads moment. With two unsuccessful English title attempts behind him, the likeable Liverpudlian knows if he is to go anywhere in the sport then he simply cannot afford to lose.
“It’s a very tough challenge,” said Robinson. “He’s a great lad, Ryan. He’s always fit and strong and he’s one of the hardest fights out there. They’re the fights I like though, and that’s why I’ve taken it. There’s not really local pride at stake because I don’t live too close to him, but I definitely want to beat him because he’s a Liverpool lad; I want to beat anyone I fight.
“He’ll be strong, but I think I’ll pull away down the stretch. I’ve got the experience over 10 rounds; he’s only done six and in the later rounds he’ll struggle. He’ll be prepared for ten and he might do it in the gym but he’s not going to know how hard it is. I know from experience [Robinson has twice been into the tenth round]; it’s a different ball-game. I see a war, and that’s what I want. He doesn’t take a backward step and it’s the same with me. It’s going to be a great fight.”
“I’m really excited; it’s what I’ve been wanting for a while now,” countered Ryan. “I feel like I’m ready for top fights. Mike’ll be a good fight; I’ve sparred him plenty and the spars are wars, so it’ll be a good scrap for the crowd.
“This fight will be more of a test because I’ve not been past six rounds and it’s over 10; so it’s probably my hardest fight to date. He punches hard and throws wild shots so he’s dangerous and obviously he’s got that bit more experience. He’s done more rounds so maybe that will come into play, but I think I’ll go in there on the night and do the job.
“Mike’s a nice lad and I know him well, so I won’t be saying anything nasty about him. He’s a sound lad but business is business and that’s the way it’s going to be on the night. Every fighter’s got to believe they’re going to win and I believe I’ll win. I’d like to think I’ll stop him but whether that happens we’ll just have to wait and find out, won’t we?”
Promoter Steve Wood stated: “You can guarantee this fight will be all-action. They’ll both give it everything and it could go either way. It’s just a shame one of them has to lose as they’re both sound lads. I’m genuinely really excited about it; it’s worth the ticket price alone, and when you consider it’s topping a huge 17-fight card then it really is a great value-for-money show. I hope the fans come and support these boxers, and for anyone that can’t make it tune in on VIPBOXING.TV.”
Mike Robinson and Ryan Farrag will contest the vacant Central Area bantamweight title at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on October 12. The undercard will feature Preston’s Dean Halsall; Blackburn’s Kurt Grieve; Cumbria’s Ricky Skelton; Wythenshawe’s Kofi Yates; Bolton’s Danny Watson; Darwen’s Stevie Taylor; Derbyshire’s Jack Massey; Accrington’s Adam Machaj; Liverpool’s Steven Lewis; Merseyside’s Wayne Adeniyi; Middleton’s Liam Taylor; Burnley’s Atif Mushtaq, and Liverpool’s Adam Ismail. While Haider Riaz; Blackburn’s Qasim Niaz, and AJ Faizy will all make debuts.
Tickets, priced at £30 (General) and £50 (Ringside), are available from all boxers or at vipbe.co.uk
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This show will also be streamed live and free and live at VIPBOXING.TV