Scouse showman Marcel Braithwaite promises to provide the glitz and glamour to proceedings at promoter Mick Hennessy’s blockbuster bill at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse on May 25 on the undercard of Hughie Fury versus Chris Norrad, exclusively live on Channel 5.
The slick and stylish 25 year old super-bantam skilster returns to duty hellbent on atoning for the first setback of his eight fight pro career last time out – a six round points loss to English title challenger Brett Fidoe – and is threatening to sizzle.
‘I deliver entertainment. If fans like a bit of flash, they’ll love me!’ claims the self-proclaimed ‘Chosen One’
‘Fans can look forward to watching a classy boxer puncher; I’m a bit showy, lots of slick movement and defence.
‘There was a lot of mix-up with my preparation last fight. I was sick, got better, sick again, better again. Then they changed my opponent the day before and Brett’s a nightmare for anyone….very tricky.’
One of a brood of six, born and raised on the tough terrain of Toxteth, Liverpool 8, 5ft 2in Braithwaite learnt how to hold his hands up at primary school.
‘I’ve always loved fighting,’ confesses the personal trainer who is managed by Steve Wood.
‘I started Tae-Kwon-Do at four, kick-boxing at seven or eight, then settled on the boxing from the age of about 11. Mum and dad took me to the gym cos I was always scrapping at school or on the streets. I wasn’t a particularly bad-tempered kid. I just really enjoyed fighting. It brought me pleasure!’
‘I lost just seven of my 36 amateur bouts and competed against guys like (ex ABA champ) Lucien Reid, (European Senior medallist) Calum French and (Commonwealth Games and European Seniors champion) Peter McGrail.
‘I won a National Novice title for under 20 bouts and boxed for England twice, winning the Three Nations, then losing to McGrail, a very talented kid, in the GB final.’
Having entered the profession, aged 22, in November 2016, mobile Marcel mesmerised his first seven opponents, dropping just one of 30 completed rounds on official cards, prior to that stumble against Fidoe – a man he’d previously shut-out six.
Sidelined for nine months, Braithwaite has made crucial adjustments to his support system ahead of his comeback.
He explains: ‘For my last two fights I was at the No Limits gym but now I’m back at the (Golden) Gloves under Wayne Smith where I fought as an amateur, getting re-built from the ground up, revisiting the basics, getting the right lifestyle back. I like to enjoy myself and party away from boxing but I lead a healthy active lifestyle.
‘I turned pro to follow my passion and win titles. During my apprenticeship there was no point killing myself to make weight, to fight naturally heavier journeymen but I could definitely make bantamweight, possibly even super-fly, and when I finally get matches at my proper weight, I’ll be a lot more physical.’
On Saturday week, Marcel brings the distinctive Braithwaite brand to Manchester for a third time, where he will star in a six-rounder against a foe yet to be announced.
‘Rucking on the streets of Toxteth, you never got to choose the opponent!’ he quips.
‘Whoever it is, they’re getting done in. I’ve got my heart set on titles and, hopefully by the end of 2019, I can put myself into contention for a shot at the English title shot, perhaps even the British.’