Scarcely do two unbeaten prospects meet in the early stages of their professional journeys, but as is the case with Lee McGregor (7-0, 6 KOs) and Kash Farooq (13-0, 6 KOs), when they do fireworks are anticipated.
Despite only having had relatively short professional careers, it feels like the two prospects have been destined to collide for a long time.
The clash, which takes place on Saturday’s #MTKFightNight at a sold out Emirates Arena in Glasgow, will be broadcast on ESPN+ in the United States in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV globally.
Raising the stakes further, the two Scots won’t only be defending undefeated records and stellar reputations, but will also be seeking to take their opponent’s title. With Farook defending the Lonsdale belt he won outright in August and McGregor putting his Commonwealth title on the line.
The fact that both are bringing sought after belts to the table underlines just how impressive they’ve been in the paid ranks. In just his fifth contest, McGregor tamed the tough Thomas Essomba to capture Commonwealth glory.
In an enthralling battle, the Edinburgh-born fighter outworked his Cameroonian counterpart at close range, before breaking his spirit with a devastating finish in the penultimate round.
Since that victory McGregor has notched up two wins in 2019, going the distance for the first time against the seasoned Brett Fidoe and dispatching of the game Scott Allan, in what became something of a grudge match.
Whereas for Farooq, since he acquired the Lonsdale belt with a blistering 73 second stoppage of Jamie Wilson, the dominance he has displayed at domestic level has epitomised why many believe he’s destined for bigger things.
Farooq quickly set about securing the prestigious belt outright, comfortably outpointing Iain Butcher, handing Kyle Williams his first defeat and taking less than a round to steam through Duane Winters.
With plethora of highlight reel finishes between them, both fighters have underlined that they posses the brutal combination of significant power and a malicious killer instinct, further evidence, as if it was needed that Saturday’s Scottish derby is set to electrify Glasgow.
Commenting on the MTK website, McGregor underlined the importance of the contest, stating: “I think the winner of this will definitely quickly go on to challenge for the European title – probably in the next fight.
“A lot of people rate both myself and Kash very highly so it makes sense to say that the winner will go on to big things.
“So much can happen in boxing. For the next 12 months, I want to get through this as it’s the biggest fight in my career – then I’d like to fight for the European.
“If there’s a world title available at any point, I’ll challenge for it. I definitely want to be knocking on the door of world level in the next 12 months.
“We know there won’t be a single empty seat in that big venue on the night. That says how big this is for Scottish boxing.”
The card reaffirms the surge that Scottish boxing is enjoying, with Kieran Smith (15-0, 7 KOs) seeking to extend his unbeaten record to 16 against tough Italian Vincenzo Bevilacqua (16-0).
Light-heavyweight Tommy Philbin (12-0, 4KOs) also continues his comeback in Glasgow, who alongside featherweight Craig Morgan (6-0) will be aiming to maintain his perfect record.
Headlined by two fighters that boast a decorated amateur pedigree, the card also provides a fitting venue for the highly touted Mark McKeown to make his professional debut.