One of Britain’s most competitive weight classes is all set to welcome back another contender this weekend as Jack Massey (16-1 KO 8) returns to action after an 11 month lay off to face Iranian Mohammad Ali Bayat Farid (16-1-1 KO 16).
Not much is known on these shores about Bayat but a quick glance of his record shows that all 16 victories have come via knockout. Massey however is not fazed by his opponent’s heavy hands.
“Yeah I’ve looked a little bit on boxrec and YouTube and stuff, and he’s had 16 wins 16 knockouts so he can obviously punch abit, and he’s had a loss and a draw so I’ve watched a few videos and I’ll be looking to probably box him in the early rounds and then see what’s there for the taking. To be honest I’ve trained like any other fight, anyone at cruiserweight can punch, it’s just one of those I’m treating it like any other fight, treating it like my last fight, a title fight.”
With the long lay off Massey has been in the gym for a long time, ticking over and getting ready and he feels good.
“Training's gone really well we’ve been in the gym quite a while now. Since they let us back in and just staying ready just in case, we get these last-minute calls and just staying fit, getting the runs in and just staying ready, but yeah trainings gone great and everything’s gone to plan.”
Massey is eyeing a shot at either the British, Commonwealth or European titles if he is victorious here.
“So, we’re looking at a title straight away at the beginning of next year. Whatever titles there and available, you know. Who's got the titles, either the British, European or Commonwealth title, if any of them are there for the taking, so we’ll see what’s for the taking next year.”
With Deion Jumah clashing with Chris Billam-Smith for the newly vacated British Cruiserweight title at some point in the near future, Massey weighed in on who he thinks comes out on top.
“I’m not too sure to be honest, I’m going to say Billam-Smith has probably got a bit more under his belt, so we’ll go with him.”
Massey fancies his chances against either Jumah or Billam-Smith and wants the chance to fight either man.
“I’ve not seen too much of Jumah, Billam-Smith I met him in the amateurs, and I boxed him and beat him in the ABA finals before turning over, but obviously things are different now I’m a completely different fighter and he’s a completely different fighter, but yeah a good fight and I think it will definitely sell a lot of tickets when everything’s back open and I definitely see a stoppage win in that one.”
With fans still not in attendance it will be Masseys first time fighting without any fans in the arena, though he doesn’t see this as a problem.
“I don’t think it will bother me too much. I can’t remember who’s bill it was but I was a live float in the Manchester Arena and it was just my fans there in the end, and in the amateurs there was times where there wasn’t many people there so I’ve been that situation before. I don’t think it will affect me once the bell goes. Nothing really matters apart from me and him in the ring.”
As previously mentioned it’s been 11 months since Massey was last in the ring, the longest layoff of his career, but he sees the layoff as not an issue.
“No, I don’t think so like I said I’ve been staying fit and ready. You’ve got to expect for anything to come round the corner, and I’m in a good position to be having a fight this year. There’s a lot of friends of mine that have lost their jobs and lost a lot of work so I’m grateful to have this fight and be able to work.”
Massey understands first-hand what Covid can do as he suffered through the virus in March and is relieved to be performing this year.
“Yeah it’s definitely affected me but it’s just one of those things; there’s people that are way worse off then me so I’m grateful. I actually had the virus back in March. Me and my girlfriend had it. We were both fit and healthy and we passed it off in a week so it’s just one of those things. It’s a massive weight of my shoulders because we’re getting to the back end of the year and we can get this fight done and start of next year take a look at a title fight, so it’s a big relief.”
Massey lost his unbeaten record last time out against Richard Riakporhe, in a close loss for the British title, but feels he has learned a lot from that night.
“I took away a lot more from that fight then I have any other fight. It was a good close 12 round fight. I obviously took a couple of shots and came back from that alright, so I proved that I can take a shot and give it back just as good as I can take it, and going those 12 rounds has put me in good stead.”
The fight with Riakporhe was close and whilst ultimately Massey came out on the wrong end of the decision, he is determined not to let the judges have a say from now on.
“I didn’t agree with the decision. It makes me not want to leave it up to the judges. It was just one of those I was gutted after the fight. It was nice to hear the feedback after the fight and a lot of sport fans and people in the boxing world, and even the commentary, felt that I had done enough, but I just have to take it under my wing and take it as it is and use it for the next fights.”
The 27-year-old features on a massive card where heavyweight rivals Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce finally clash in the ring. Massey made his pick.
“I’m going to go with Dubois. I think he’s younger and hungrier. Joyce is a good fighter but I think Dubois is going to come out on top, but who knows? Who knows in the heavyweight game, one punch can change everything.”
If you haven’t watched Massey before this is what you can expect from the man himself.
“I think fans can expect a bit more of a faster start, show my boxing skills a bit more and then look for a nice big stoppage. It’s going to be a good night. I’ve got the confidence there that I can do the rounds and I can start faster and should be an exciting fight.”
Date: November 28th 2020
Venue: Church House, Westminster
Where To Watch: BT Sport 1