THE first time Scott Allan fought Kash Farooq in January 2017, the Shotts bantamweight stayed the 10 rounds only to lose on points. In the rematch 10 months later, however, it was a different story.

“He absolutely leathered me,” admits Allan with typical candour. “He beat me in every department; he outfought me, he outworked me and he outpunched me. I have to be honest and say he battered me that night.”

Allan didn’t take the beating to heart. From that date, an unlikely friendship has blossomed between the brash and gregarious Motherwell FC diehard and the quietly-spoken, Pakistani-born Glaswegian who on Saturday will look to add Lee McGregor’s Commonwealth belt to his own British one.

Farooq, helped by live coverage of his recent fights on the BBC, has sprung from nowhere to become one of Scotland’s sporting rising stars. Having already won his Lonsdale belt outright with three successful defences, there is an expectation that he has the potential to go on to challenge at European or even world level next.

“Kash has got better with every fight,” adds Allan, a former Scottish champion. “But he’s still a real humble guy and that’s one of his traits that I like.

“Kash has got the potential and dedication to be an all-time Scottish great. He gives his whole life to boxing, never takes time off or any holidays. He deserves everything he gets.

“He’s always grateful for everything, even if it’s just sparring a few rounds. He’s just really grounded and a genuinely nice bloke. He’s never got carried away with his success.”

Allan is less complimentary about McGregor. When the pair fought at the Emirates Arena in June there was the remarkable sight of the Edinburgh boxer leaning over the ropes mid-bout to argue with some of Allan’s supporters in the front row.

He admits he’s biased but, as the only professional to have boxed both men, Allan can’t see anything other than a Farooq win on Saturday.

“Kash will be too strong for Lee in every department,” he adds. “He’s an all-rounder for me. He’s got speed and ability. His movement is beautiful. He’s always in front of you but he’s so hard to hit.

“Lee has man strength by which I mean he’s physical. He can push you about and move you into position. But he’s not got any punching power.

“I went in to that fight in a cautious mood thinking he could hurt me. But there was nothing there that fazed me. There was no real knockout power. Kash hits harder with 16oz sparring gloves on than Lee does with 8oz gloves.

“McGregor is very arrogant. After our fight I went over to wish him well and he wouldn’t even touch my glove. That’s just a scumbag move in my eyes.”

This fight against the two undefeated champions, Glasgow versus Edinburgh, is being touted as one of the biggest all-Scottish contests for years.

Comparisons have been made with Alex Arthur vs Craig Docherty and Willie Limond, or even Ken Buchanan vs Jim Watt.

“It’s the biggest all-Scottish fight for decades,” confirms Allan. “And it’s maybe a shame to see it happening so soon. But boxing fans have been screaming for it so they’ve listened to that and made it happen.

“I don’t see a stoppage happening. I think Kash could put him down a couple of times but I reckon it will go the distance. And then Kash will win by a landslide.

“Whoever wins goes on to European and world honours very soon. If it’s Kash he’s already won the British title outright so he’s already past that level. There’s no point getting stuck there. He should be looking at European titles next.”