Less than two weeks ago, world ranked super featherweight, Zelfa Barrett, rounded off his 2023 by outpointing tough Romanian, Costin Ion, on the undercard of the rematch between Chantelle Cameron and Katie Taylor.
Barrett (30-2, 16 KO’s) may be done for the year but the super featherweight division keeps moving.
Last Saturday night, Jordan Gill stepped up to 130lbs and shocked many by travelling to Belfast and stopping Michael Conlan in seven rounds. The victory breathed new life into Gill’s career and he used the moments afterwards to call for a world title shot.
Barrett sat at home watching everything unfold.
It is just over a year since the former European champion jumped in at late notice to box Shavkat Rakhimov for the vacant IBF title. Barrett proved himself to be world class - dropping Rakhimov in the third round and boxing well - but was stopped in the ninth.
He rebounded by outclassing the tough Jason Sanchez and spent much of this year being linked to an all British showdown with current IBF champion, Joe Cordina. The Welshman decided to move in a different direction but Barrett has been assured by his promoter, Eddie Hearn, that his opportunity will come next year.
The Mancunian isn’t prioritizing Gill, his focus remains fixed on the four men who hold the gold at 130lbs - Cordina, Emanuel Navarette, O’Shaquie Foster and Lamont Roach - but if the path to a world title has to run through the man from Peterborough, Barrett definitely wouldn’t avoid it.
“Look, I’m not calling him out. I’d prefer to be calling out the world champions,” Barrett told BoxingScene.com. “Jordan isn’t a world champion and I’d be getting nothing from it but if Eddie said to me, ‘Yo, Zelfa. Jordan Gill in a final eliminator for a world title,’ then I’ll take that fight all day long. No question about it.
“I wanted the winner out of them two [Gill and Conlan] anyway and Gill won. He can’t jump the queue though so if that’s the fight for a final eliminator, I’ll take it with both hands.”