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Meli hoping to step out of the shadows with title win

Alfredo Meli enjoyed a career-best win over Araik Marutjan at the Falls Park last August Alfredo Meli enjoyed a career-best win over Araik Marutjan at the Falls Park last August
By David Mohan

THE WBO European middleweight title is the prize on off for Alfredo Meli this Saturday night when he takes on Danny Dignum in Essex (live on YouTube).

The former Immaculata amateur will be looking to end another undefeated record following his career-best win over the big-punching Araik Marutjan at the Falls Park last August when ‘Fredo’ picked himself off the canvas in the sixth to score a points win.

That performance was typical of Meli who has shown no regard for reputations throughout his career and will certainly not be daunted at the prospect of taking on Dignum in his back yard.

The Englishman took the title last time out with a fifth round stoppage win over Conrad Cummings as he put on an impressive display to emerge from the shadows and he will have taken huge confidence from that title win.

Therefore, this is an intriguing clash of southpaws with Dignan proving he carries power, while Meli’s excellent skills and work-rate a perfect counter to the defending champion.

The common opponent for both is Cummings who Meli drew with in a Celtic title clash back in 2015, but the landscape has changed since as he had a bit of a stop-start run before returning last year with a comeback stoppage of Achilles Szabo.

That earned him a shot at Marutjan in what was a huge test and one he passed against the Armenian that has been the springboard to this title opportunity.

“This is a great fight for myself, for Danny and for boxing as a whole,” he said.

“We are two of the most underrated middleweights out there but I believe I just hold an edge in a few areas.

“I respect Danny as a man and as a fighter. He’s proven his class as a boxer through his amateur career and everyone could see he’s improving as a professional all the time with the way he dealt with Conrad.”

A title win would push Meli into the top 15 in the world with the WBO and this is where the West Belfast man feels he belongs given his past performances.

Another good win here would perhaps fully ignite the career of one of boxing’s most underestimated talents and while he is strictly no frills inside and outside the ring, he still wants that shiny new addition to his luggage for the return journey home.

He seemed to get stronger as the fight progressed last time and that engine will come into play for the mechanic, but there is no doubt Meli has the ability to score another big win and he has looked to a fellow Irish middleweight for inspiration.

“I’ve been avoided for so long and to finally get a chance like this with a significant title on the line is massive for me,” he added.

“I’m not going to let it slip by because victory here sets me up for a huge year.

‘That belt automatically gets you a top 15 world ranking and from there, you can spring into the world title picture quickly.

“You only have to look at how fast Luke Keeler progressed after winning this title to be sure of that.”

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