Exclusive: Kash Farooq discusses Lee McGregor clash, Josh Taylor win
The Emirates Arena in the east end of Glasgow in the shadow of Celtic Park will play host to one of the most anticipated Scottish fights of recent times.
British bantamweight champion Kash Farooq, from Glasgow, will take on Edinburgh’s Commonwealth champion Lee McGregor.
The contest is a real east-west derby between fighters from Scotland’s two biggest cities.
Both boxers came through the amateur scene together.
“We know each other well, there’s no beef between the two of us,” Farooq exclusively told WBN. “But on the night friendship goes out the window.
“We are going to try and knock each other’s head off but we will be friends before and afterwards.”
Farooq (13-0) has taken only a short amount of time off since his last fight.
“Training has been going great,” he said. “I’ve just continued on since my last fight. (I was) back in the gym on the Tuesday or Wednesday after my last fight. So been training since then.
“Sparring has been great, I have had some world class sparring. Everything has been going well.”
Both fighters have experienced the Emirates Arena, with McGregor’s last fight against Scott Allan taking place there and Farooq’s first title defence against Iain Butcher also at the venue.
“I know what it’s going to be like, it’s going to be a great atmosphere.” Farooq added. “I think everyone is looking forward to our fight. A lot of time, people leave when their pals have fought but I think most will stay to watch our fight.”
With tv coverage, bringing more attention to both fighters and the Scottish boxing community excited to watch the two undefeated prospects go head to head, the fight was always guaranteed to sell out.
“It will be on BBC Scotland so we are getting great coverage, it’s going to benefit us both.” Explained Farooq.
“The whole of Scotland can’t wait for the fight. I’m fighting in my home city, home country, I’m a Scottish lad. That’s what it’s all about. Everyone in Scotland know who we are.
“It could have been someone up from England but what’s the point if its someone no kne knows about. It’s hard to sell a fight to the public but with both of us from Scotland’s two biggest cities, they know who we are. The fight sells by itself.
“I think it was sold out five weeks ago. I’ve done all my tickets, the most I’ve ever done and I think McGregor is the same.”
In his last fight against Duane Winters, Farooq won the Lonsdale belt outright, having successfully defended three times.
“It was a great feeling,” said Kash. “I wanted to win the British outright, but at this moment in time, I’m not really thinking about it. Once I retire then I’ll look back and realise how big it was. My main aim at start of 2019 was to beat McGregor.”
Fresh in the mind of most boxing fans is the extraordinary fight between Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis, Farooq gave me his thoughts on one of the fights of the year.
“I thought Josh Taylor fought well, Prograis was a really good fighter too but Josh has proved he is something special. It’s great, Josh is going to bring big nights up to Scotland.
“We need a guy like Josh Taylor to bring the big nights up for all us fighters on the undercard, then we can maybe be there (headlining one day) in the future. Aye, he boxed brilliant, great future ahead of him.”
Mick Kane is a Staff Writer to World Boxing News. Follow Mick on Twitter @MickKaneMMA