WHEN you’re this close to making history then perhaps a little late drama ought to be expected. Kash Farooq will become only the third Scot in the past quarter of a century to win the Lonsdale Belt outright should he defeat Duane “The Gasman” Winters at the St Andrew’s Sporting Club in Glasgow this evening.

The fight represents the third defence of the bantamweight belt he won last September and with it comes the prospect of a place in Scottish boxing folklore; only Alex Arthur and John Simpson have achieved that feat since 1994.

There was a slight scare, however, when the Glasgow boxer stepped on the scales at yesterday’s weigh-in four ounces over the limit before a hasty bathroom break and then the removal of his underwear quickly took him to bang on 118lbs. Farooq is an unflappable figure meaning even this slight hiccup didn’t cause him any undue stress.

“I wasn’t struggling to make the weight,” he insisted. “I just had to pee and take my boxers off and that was it. You want to be bang on the weight if you can. People might think I’m weight drained but it’s nothing like that. I’ve been taking it easy all week and I’ve made the weight comfortably.”


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Now only Winters stands between him and history. And having worked so hard for this, Farooq won’t give up his belt easily.

“This is the last defence and I’ve trained really, really hard. Duane doesn’t know the sacrifices I’ve made since I first won the title. My aim was to win the British belt outright and at this stage of my career I want it too much to not finish the job. I can’t see him beating me. I’ll go to hell and back to take that belt home with me.

“I’ve been training my mind and body for the past three months. It’s a job for me. People go to offices and work. I go on a morning run. It might look on TV that I’m doing really well but it’s been a lot of hard work to get to that point.

“When you’re six weeks into a training camp and you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night then it doesn’t always seem a lot of fun. But you train for moments like this and getting that belt.”

Winters, from Bristol, took in Rangers’ match with Midtjylland on Thursday night and hoped to get back to Ibrox should he beat Farooq.

“I love Liverpool and have followed Steven Gerrard since I was 11,” he said. “Seeing him on the touchline the other night gave me a right buzz. I’d parade the belt around Ibrox if I won it.”