After being recently vacated, the BFL amateur featherweight belt is looking for a new waist to call home.
Youngsters Marlan Hall (3-2) and Gwyn Berry (4-1) will meet Saturday night at BFL 57 in Coquitlam, B.C. to determine the newest BFL champion.
Hall, 23, said winning the title would mean everything to him and his career right now, and is ready to step into the cage and take what’s his.
“I just want to solidify myself to be as good as I say I am,” said Hall in an interview.
“I don’t really need to prove anything to anybody, but it’s more about saying I told you from the get-go that I’m good.”
Well, Hall has been especially good as of late, currently riding a three-fight win streak into Saturday’s contest.
Hall, fighting out of Kelowna, B.C., said this current win streak combined with his growth, both physically and mentally, has him feeling as confident as ever.
“My confidence is at an all-time high right now, and I’m just trying to ride this wave as much as I can,” said Hall.
“I think the confidence comes from being more of a man now, after having been so young for much of my career.”
And while he is confident, Hall said he’s not over-confident. He said he knows Berry will be the toughest test of his career so far.
Hall said he’s been preparing for this fight to go the full five rounds, but also feels he may be able to catch him off-guard early in the fight.
“He’s a patient fighter, and I’m a patient fighter, and I do believe we’re going to lock horns a few times,” said Hall.
“But with the layoff he’s had, I think his timing may be a little off, so I think if I get him early and hit him hard, he’ll panic a little bit.”
Berry Brings Length and Confidence
While he may be coming off a 14-month layoff, Berry, 24, brings with him a significant height and reach advantage, standing over six feet tall.
Berry, fighting out of Squamish, B.C., said he will utilize his reach, as he always does, and pick apart Hall with his long strikes, while also staying away from his shots.
“He’s going to have a hard time getting in on me, I can tell you that much,” said Berry in an interview.
“He thinks he’s going to touch his way in and do his little light touch and come over with the right hand, but that’s not going to work out too well.”
Other than catching Hall’s last fight on pay-per-view, Berry said he hasn’t seen very much footage of his opponent.
But just from watching his last fight against JR Cuevas, Berry said, other than “looking alright” in the stand-up game, there wasn’t much that caught his attention.
“Honestly, I wasn’t impressed by much,” said Berry.
“He tries to fight like Conor McGregor a lot I noticed, minus the power.”
In addition to his reach, Berry also brings with him the experience of already being crowned a BFL champion in the past, having captured the amateur lightweight title in 2017.
Berry said to add the featherweight title to his resume would be a nice way to cap off his amateur career, and begin his journey in the professional ranks, where he feels he’ll be even better.
“I personally feel I’ll be a better pro than an amateur, just because of the rules,” said Berry.
“The plan is to win this title to put a stamp on my amateur career, and then I definitely want to go pro.”
“I’d like to give a big shoutout to my sponsors Osoyoos Indian Band, Amanda Stewart at Valley Hemp – Oliver, Joel Lesperance from JL Interiors, and Dan Crucetti from Crucetti’s Restaurant. I would also like to thank my training partners, Justin Aujla-Fieldt and Rob Pelletier, at Pacific Top Team.
“I’d like to give a shoutout to my coaches at The Sound Martial Arts, Kasey Smith and Cole Smith, and my chiropractor, Amber Kirk.”