Commonwealth champion Zelfa Barrett (27-1, 16 KOs) has taken a unanimous decision (117-110 x 2, 116-111) from Australian-based Tanzanian, Bruno Tarimo (26-3-2, 5 KOs) in their IBF Super Featherweight title eliminator in Manchester.
Fighting in front of a raucous hometown audience as part of Matchroom Boxing’s Parker vs Chisora 2 card, Barrett negated a spirited opponent through 12 hard-fought rounds.
From the opening bell, Tarimo pressed forward, switching stances and applying pressure. His high volume was met with head-on force from the Brit, who landed the heavier punches in the first two rounds.
Of note, Barrett utilised an educated left hook and right uppercuts to the head and body, capitalising on his natural edge in height and reach. Surprisingly, he achieved this while having his back to the ropes.
The power advantage of the Manchester product also became glaringly obvious in the third round, A well-timed left hook found the opening to knock Tarimo down just a minute into the round.
Undeterred, the adopted Aussie bounced to his feet and continued to apply his trademark pressure across the fourth stanza.
This did nothing to drain the confidence of Barrett though as he began to flow in the fifth. After landing two flush straight right hands, he followed with a flurry of punches that rocked his foe’s head back on multiple occasions.
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Having both fought at a high intensity to open the contest, both men tempered their output between the sixth and eighth rounds. Still, the narrative remained the same. Barrett landed cleaner shots on a forward-moving Tarimo, who could not be accused of laziness.
Those nine minutes may have been an aberration, however and as the bout entered its closing stages, both men gained a second wind. Yet it was Barrett who really started to stamp his authority on the contest.
Specifically, a crisp straight right hand began to repeatedly land each time Tarimo presented himself in the southpaw stance. By round ten’s conclusion, the hometown hero appeared in full control.
Gallant until the bell that ended the twelfth, Tarimo pressed in the same manner as the start of the fight. Ultimately, his spirited effort was no match for the power and distance management of Barrett.
With the win, the man known as ‘Brown Flash’ will have his eyes set on IBF Super Featherweight champion, Kenichi Ogawa (26-1-1, 18 KOs), who recently captured the title in November.
As for Tarimo, there will no doubt be plenty of fight left in the 26-year-old, who will now look to rebuild towards a new path to a coveted World title.
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