Boxing: Barrett looking for pivotal win over Hall

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The Independent Online

Francis Barrett believes that his meeting with Oscar Hall at Bethnal Green's York Hall tomorrow night could prove pivotal to his hopes of resurrecting his professional career.

The 26-year-old light welterweight, who hails from Galway but is now based in Wembley, counts the World Boxing Union light welterweight champion, Ricky Hatton, among his scalps from his amateur days.

Barrett also enjoyed an opportunity to showcase his pugilistic prowess at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but he knows tomorrow night's 10-round encounter with Hall will be all about underlining his credentials on the professional stage.

"This will be the start of big things for me," Barrett said. "I've had a bit of an up-and-down year but overall I am happy with it, I've achieved a lot. It all kicked off winning my first professional title by beating Jon Honney for the Southern Area crown, but whilst I then lost to Silence Saheed, it was on an unfortunate cut and by winning next time out I proved I have it in me to bounce back when required. And by beating Oscar Hall I will truly end the year on a high."

But Barrett insisted he would not be taking Hall lightly and said: "I'm reckoning on Oscar taking me a few, hard rounds. It's going to be a good, old-fashioned fight. Oscar has undoubted credentials and up until last time out he was unbeaten in 24.

"His defeat to Gary Reid came as a bit of a shock, and is a good indication in my favour because I beat Reid comfortably in 2001, but you can't read too much into that. Everyone can get caught cold or have an off-day, and we all know Oscar is better than that, a class operator. But I am even classier."