Kickboxing News: Wayne Barrett Eyes Glory Ace Levin, Tells Verlinden to Look Elsewhere

By John Joe O'Regan Aug 26, 2014



New York middleweight Wayne Barrett is advising Belgian counterpart Filip Verlinden to think again about calling him out.

Verlinden currently sits at No. 3 in the official Glory middleweight rankings and in a recent interview said that he sees his next fight being either with Barrett (No. 2) or Joe Schilling (No. 1). Barrett has previously spoken highly of Verlinden and continues to do so. However, the American is also advising ‘The Belgian Bull’ to pick a different red flag to charge at.

“He don’t want none of me, man. I’ve got his number. He’s a [Dutch-style] kickboxer to the fullest. His style is great for me,” Barrett (5-1, 4 KOs) told Sherdog.com over the weekend. “They will have to pay me more after I beat him because I will put on a show.

“He’s dangerous though, don’t get me wrong. He is so good, he is amazing. He’s got the best lead front kick and the best roundhouse kick. He’s got really good kicks. He’s the one who battered Artem [Levin, Glory middleweight champion] in the Last Man Standing tournament... When he gets going, he gets going, but I have been watching him really, really closely for a while now and I have seen the holes.”

Barrett has previously talked of the limitations he sees in the Dutch kickboxing style. Notoriously aggressive, Dutch-style kickboxing typically has an emphasis on forward pressure and attack at the expense of evasion and damage avoidance.

“He was moving around [in his last fight], but only because he was up against heavy-hitting Melvin Manhoef. Usually he is very, very Dutch-style. I think he did a great job with Artem Levin though,” Barrett said.

“I am ready for whoever they want to put me up against. I think they will give me him or Simon Marcus next, but I know a lot of people also think that I should be the next one to fight Artem Levin, so they can do that if they want to.”

Barrett and Marcus are both of Jamaican extraction. Asked for his thoughts on how a fight between them would turn out, Barrett paused for a moment before replying.

“Hmm... Me winning. I love Simon, and he’s my countryman and all. I got a chance to meet a couple of his people in Los Angles, but no,” he said. “He gets so wild. You could see in the first round that Joe Schilling just made a couple of little adjustments and Simon struggled with that.”

The fight Barrett is referring to is the war between Schilling (18-6, 11 KOs) and Marcus (39-1-1, 24 KOs) which took place in the quarterfinals of June’s Last Man Standing tournament. A clear contender for “Fight of the Year,” the bout went to an extra round before Schilling won by way of knockout.

It was a close fight from the outset as the two smashed into each other. Damage started to tell on Marcus later in the fight and he lost his mouthguard several times. The last instance in the third round saw referee John McCarthy dock him a point.

“The guy’s mouth was bloodied up and his nose was pretty much broken. As a referee, John McCarthy knows how it is. If you can’t breath through your nose, you will breath through your mouth,” Barrett said. “He couldn’t breathe, so of course he was huffing and puffing with his mouth wide open, and when you do that and exhale, the mouthpiece will come out. The only reason it went to the extra round was because of the point deduction for dropping the mouthpiece.

“Schilling won the first round, and Simon did a 10-8 round in the second round and put the pressure on Joe in the third. But it’s whatever, you know? This is why the fight game is where it is. We all have our opinion.

“I watched that fight as a fan, not as, like, ‘I’m gonna fight these guys.’ I watched as a fan and I feel like Simon did enough to win that fight... I think that was a gift for Joe. I think Simon beat him, but Joe was having his night that night. He was having a good night.”

Barrett noted that Marcus suffered from the switch from full muay Thai rules, where he makes heavy use of the clinch, to the Unified Rules of Kickboxing, where the clinch is limited to a few seconds.

“Of course he suffered from that. But you could see that, once he got close, he was kicking the s--- out of Joe. He was folding Joe up. That’s why I was like ‘What the f--- are [these judges] watching?” he said.

“You watch that third round, [and] he hit Joe with a knee so hard, Joe just curled a little and tried to hold him, and Simon pushed him down to the ground. Joe got up, but he was hurt. Simon is a bad man [when he gets] on the inside. His boxing isn’t that great, but he goes for it with every shot.

“With him, I can’t be too overconfident. I have to fight him not only smart but super sharp. I have to be laser-accurate down the middle -- pop-pop-pop. That works for Joe, too. People weren’t able to see how hard I was hitting Joe because I was hitting him so fast, until you slow [the video down]... Everyone was like ‘Damn, I didn’t even see you hit him like that.’ Because I knew Joe, so I was trying to be like a cobra that night and take it real quick. In real time it looks like I was just tapping him, but then when you slow it down, you can see I was connecting.”

Rumor has it that Barrett has already been contacted by the Glory matchmaking department for their next event, but the New York native wouldn’t comment on that. There’s no news on who his next opponent is going to be, but Barrett would certainly like it be Levin (50-4-1, 33 KOs).

“I would love to fight Artem Levin. I feel like that would be the two most intelligent fighters [in the middleweight division]. You can’t be too overly aggressive. You have to use feints. you’ve gotta be a slick boxer, which none of these guys are,” Barrett said.

“With Artem, if you go forward with that jab-cross-kick, that’s not going to work; it’s stupid. He loves the aggression. You see what he does with guys like [Alex] Pereira. It’s predictable, and he knows that. He is like an American boxer. He is in there doing Roy Jones Jr. moves, fighting like Chavez, you know?”

Glory’s new CEO, Jon Franklin, has stated in an open letter to fans that the next event will take place late-October on US soil. Sherdog has been informed that official announcements on the event and its matchmaking will be made this week or next.

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