Promoter Eddie Hearn said he will work towards negotiating a world title opportunity for Zelfa Barrett, 31-2, 17 KOs, against Lamont Roach Jr. after the Mancunian halted the in-form Jordan Gill, 28-3-1 9KOs, in 10 rounds at the AO Arena, Manchester. 

Barrett, headlining at his home city’s premier indoor venue, dropped Gill twice in the 10th frame of a scheduled 12 courtesy of two left-handed shots to the body before an accumulation of unanswered shots forced referee John Latahm to intervene. 

“I think he deserves it,” Hearn told IFL TV post-fight, discussing Barrett’s world title challenge credentials. 

Manchester as a city has produced the likes of Ricky Hatton, Scott Quigg, Anthony Crolla and Terry Flanagan, who all progressed to capture world titles and make the arena locally known as the MEN (Manchester Evening News) Arena as their home. 

Hearn has challenged Barrett to join those names and fill those shoes by bringing exciting, championship-level fights to the city. 

“I think he can do that if he is in those types of fights [such as Vs. Gill]. Unfortunately for Zelfa, he has never really been built in Manchester, so that is why we have only sold 4,000 tickets instead of 8,000 tickets. 

“It also took a while with Crolla. It was only once after he fought John Murray that he was able to move forward. Things fell into place for him when he started fighting for world titles, which allowed him to start doing big numbers here. 

Hearn admits that 30-year-old Barrett will find it hard to build his professional profile due to his age, but has confirmed that Barrett should now be in big fights moving forward and the promoter is targeting a fight with WBA title holder Roach Jr., 24-1-1, 9 KOs, as a possible opponent for Barrett. 

“Zelfa is a bit late in the game in terms of being built [In profile], but at the same time, he is going to be in those big fights now,” said Hearn. 

“I really like the fight with Lamont Roach Jr. for the WBA title.”