Date of Birth: 9/7/93
Record: 26-1 (16 KOs)
Height: 5ft 7in
Is Zelfa Barrett the man to become Manchester’s next boxing hero following in the footsteps of national treasure Ricky Hatton and more recently Anthony Crolla?
Manager Steve Wood has teamed up with promoter Eddie Hearn who has the task of making ‘Brown Flash’ a mainstream star.
Barrett is ranked at number five by the IBF and it seems certain that loftier world rankings are just around the corner.
Zelfa more than learnt from his only setback, against Ronnie Clark back in February 2018 when he lost on points.
Zelfa bounced back quickly with a win against Edwin Tellez two months later, but was then side-lined for ten months when he suffered an Achilles injury.
Barrett repeated another win against Tellez in April 2019 and then served up his flawless display against fellow prospect Leon Woodstock two months later to capture the Commonwealth Title. It was a fight neither man could afford to lose having both suffered setbacks, however, Barrett looked
the serious prospect expected when he turned professional in October 2014.
That win in Leeds has given him the impetus to kick on further and show he can eventually mix it with the 130lb division’s elite.
He made his first defence against Scot Jordan McCorry last October, dropping his challenger three times before the referee’s intervention in round nine.
Frank Warren had built Barrett’s career until then, but earlier this year Zelfa decided to make a promotional switch to Hearn.
On his Matchroom debut in August he risked his title against former amateur star Eric Donovan, and overcame tricky moments before stopping his Irish opponent in round eight.
Barrett is his own worst critic and wasn’t happy with that performance.
He won the vacant IBF Inter-Continental Title with that win and in February 2021 came through a tough defence outpointing Spain’s former World champion Kiko Martinez.
Before losing to Clark, Barrett had been flawless in 19 professional fights and picked up an English title.
Life has been tough. Zelfa wants to be a world champion in memory of his late elder brother, John who died in 2011. Zelfa says he is spurred on by a tattoo of John’s face on his arm.
He was dealt another blow in June 2021 when his Mother, Sonia who he lived with died after a short illness.
A rematch with Martinez is planned for later this year, but Barrett managed to put the shock of losing his Mum behind him when he forced Viorel Simion to retire after four rounds in August 2021.
He started boxing aged eight and learned his craft under Brian Hughes who trained his uncle to British and European title glory.
From a young age he was motivated to become a professional boxer and trained alongside Michael Jennings, Robin Reid and Scott Quigg.
He won 30 and lost four amateur contests, but the most he achieved was an ABA quarter-final.