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Abass Baraou is willing to step up to face Vergil Ortiz Jr but is wary of McGowan’s challenge

ABASS BARAOU is putting himself on the sidelines if Vergil Ortiz Jr needs an opponent any time soon.

The two super-welterweights are ranked in the top two with the WBA, but any hopes of a title shot may have to wait until later this year or 2025. That’s because reigning champion Israel Madrimov defends his newly acquired belt against boxing legend – and former untitled welterweight champion – Terence Crawford on August 3rd in Los Angeles.

Ortiz was originally slated to appear on a glittering undercard against former co-champion Tim Tszyu but the Aussie recently withdrew for medical reasons freeing Ortiz. The world’s boxing information highway is currently linking Ortiz to a fight against Ukrainian Serhii Bohachuk but nothing is official.

Baraou, 15-1 (9 KOs), is back in action tonight and is back on UK television defending his European super-welterweight title against Macaulay McGowan, 20-4-2 (5 KOs) at the Bolton Whites Hotel in Bolton live. Channel 5.

Any hope of getting a quick turnaround against Ortiz or any other top name will depend on the champion delivering a quick night’s work and coming out unscathed.

“Of course, that’s the plan. I’m ready for that,” said Baraou, pointing at Ortiz.

“Tim Tszyu is out. I’m ready to jump in. Come out clean in the next fight, get a solid win and be ready for that fight.”

“I haven’t really seen him [Ortiz] I fought at the age of 154 at the moment,” he adds. “I would be ready to put him in deep water. He is talented and I think it would be a good fight. I’m ready for it and I’m confident that it can happen so I’m putting myself in a position to hope that it will happen.”

Baraou spoke to him Debate News with Zoom in his defense of the girl getting closer. The German is the odds-on favorite to beat his Mancunian rival, which may not have been the first defense many had predicted after Baraou beat Sam Eggington in a fan friendly on March 1.

Baraou (L) is the odds-on favorite to retain his European title

He says: “I didn’t really hope for anything.”

“I’m here no matter what and my goal is the next job and that’s what I’m focused on. I think it’s a good name to have on the record and you’re going to do well. He is not going to waste his time and I am prepared for everything he will bring. It’s the next challenge and I’m excited about it.”

The 29-year-old is doing well in his preparation and response to BN. Skipping McGowan can’t get into his thinking, for example, because of what’s on the line and what he’s worked so hard to achieve in a career that’s enjoying new life after overcoming a long period of inactivity.

“I go in all the time to put [in] It’s a very good game and I think I put a lot of pressure on myself,” he said.

“I know I have to do the job and I know how to do it. I know I need to do a better job. I need to put everything I’ve done in camp into the ring. My coaches will be watching me, my friends and family will be watching me. I don’t think much about public opinion because it can be divided. I know what I have to do. I set goals and I’m busy with that.”

Baraou enjoyed the company of his friends as they watched his victory over Eggington. Although it was a hard-fought tournament, Baraou always had that little bit in his closet. The victory was well deserved and the emotional outpouring afterwards was caused by years of waiting for another chance and not knowing if it would happen. However, Baraou watched the battle one more time. This time alone.

“When I watch it alone I watch it as a critic and with friends I watch it as a fan and I enjoy it every time. I realized that I was sad in this fight,” he remembered.

“I could have done it more wisely but it’s not like I’m disappointed. It was a fight that needed to be at that time. It was a special night. That’s what was needed for me and I’m glad I did it and it went well. I need to do a bowel check to see if I still have it. I know I could do it a lot smarter but I loved war and if I could turn back time I would do it the exact same way.

“I enjoy everything. I’m locked up and I can see the goals now I just need to live. I’m very focused and I want to keep the momentum going and work as hard as I can and put myself out there on the big stage. “

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