THE prospect of a rematch with Lee McGregor in front of a full house in the second half of the year still feels a remote one but Kash Farooq isn’t ruling it out entirely.

The pair’s barnstorming bout at the end of 2019 inside a raucous Emirates Arena in Glasgow now almost feels like a snapshot from a bygone era. It was congested. It was sweaty. And it was utterly absorbing.

Both men have since gone their separate ways but, like magnets, there is an attraction that keeps pulling them gradually back together again.

McGregor added Farooq’s British title to his Commonwealth belt that night and will try, at the fourth attempt, to become Euroean champion this month.

Farooq’s contentious points loss was disappointing but came with the sizeable consolation prize of a promotional contract with Matchroom.

Having sparkled on his delayed debut in November – picking up the WBA Continental title with a convincing performance over Angel Aviles – the Glasgow bantamweight will return to Wembley Arena for his next outing in April.

The St Andrews Sporting Club boxer knows there is little merit in trying to lay out detailed plans in the current climate.

But as the vaccination roll-out continues across the country and the threat of the virus eventually recedes, the chance for spectators to return to live sporting events grows.

And what better way to celebrate a return to semi-normal life than having two of Scotland’s best boxing prospects get back into the ring together in front of an appreciative and noisy crowd? Farooq would like that very much.


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“I don’t want to be 33 or 34 and still boxing and lockdown has made me realise that time doesn’t wait around for anyone,” he said.

“So if there are opportunities there to move forward then you have to go for them. We could have had the rematch with Lee McGregor last year if things had gone to plan but it’s been such a strange time, with Lee still waiting for his European shot six months later.

“But things seem to be moving in the right direction with the vaccine so maybe the two of us could get back in the ring later this year.

“If I come through my fight and he comes through his then there’s a big possibility that could happen.

“Talk of the rematch never goes away and if we could do it in front of fans again that would be brilliant. If we had to box behind closed doors then I wouldn’t be too bothered. But if possible you’d love a full house for a fight like that.”

First, though, the 25 year-old must take care of immediate business. Farooq’s next opponent should be announced in the coming weeks, giving him additional focus ahead of his return to Wembley.

Farooq’s last trip there was reminiscent of scenes from the movie Coming to America given the amount of luggage he took with him.

“I really enjoyed the set-up the last time inside the arena and staying in the hotel as well,” he added. “Everything was brilliant once we arrived.

“But getting down there was a nightmare. I got the train with Craig [Dickson, his trainer] and then a taxi to the hotel.

“I had so much stuff with me that Craig had to help me as I had all my food with me and a microwave. And I also had my food scales and my weighing scales. It was a lot!


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“I didn’t want to eat hotel food when you’re trying to make weight so I was able to make my own porridge in the hotel room.”

The Pakistan-born fighter admits he didn’t hugely enjoy the recent snowfall that covered most of the country but his devotion to training continues regardless.

“I’m not a big fan of the winter to be honest,” he added. “But I’ve still been out running in the snow and getting to the gym too. It was freezing and not that nice on the longer runs.

“But when you’re training for a fight and trying to shift weight you just have to keep going. It’s all worth it come fight night.”

Farooq acknowledges he remains lucky to still be able to do the sport he loves, with most Scottish boxers still inactive a year or longer since their last fights.

“I’m one of the fortunate ones, especially up here in Scotland. In a few years’ time I’ll be able to look back and say, “I was one of those who got to box during lockdown”.

“I think I would have struggled mentally if I had been training all this time with no fight at the end of it. So that must be really tough for all the other guys.

“There are only a few of us from up here who have been able to get on the closed doors cards so it’s about making sure I make the most of these opportunities.”