This week’s action-packed card will be broadcast live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV, and is headlined by a WBO Global super-featherweight title fight between Archie Sharp (20-0, 9 KOs) and Alexis Boureima Kabore (28-4, 7 KOs).
Last time out, Gilley (11-1, 5 KOs) came up narrowly short in his WBC International Silver welterweight title fight with Danny Ball, but now steps up a weight class and takes on Lartey (14-5-1, 12 KOs) on Friday.
The 27-year-old hopes a win there can set up a shot at the English title, as he targets the winner of next month’s fight between Drew Brown and Evaldas Korsakas.
Gilley said: “I’m so excited to be back out on a great MTK show this week. It’s the perfect opportunity for me to get back to winning ways and set up a big 2022. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a crowd so I’m going to thrive and reward them all with a big, big performance.
“The weight ruined the fight against Ball for me. I’d never struggled before but that was the first time, and I think you can tell in my performance from the second round I was running on an empty tank. I still think I just edged the fight but I only just lost on the cards by a couple of rounds, so to do that considering how I felt was ok.
“This is a much, much better division for me. I think over lockdown I naturally filled out a little bit more, so I’m very very excited. I’m learning all the time and the difference the extra weight has had on my training, recovery and especially my mood day to day means it doesn’t even feel like I’m in a camp.
“I’ve got Daniel Lartey on Friday, and I know he has heavy hands but it’s not worrying me in the slightest. Me and my trainer have worked on tightening things up since the Ball fight so I do not expect him to be landing clean on me at all.
“I’ve not really watched him, but my trainer Rod has, so I will just stick to the plan Rod has set out, break him down and get him out of there.
“Training has been good. It’s been quite a short camp but I was in the gym ticking over when I got the call so it’s been nice actually not having the long 10-12 week slog, so I’ve really enjoyed it.
“After this, the English title is the only thing on my mind. I know it’s being contested for in November, so if someone gets injured I’ll step in, or I’ll wait for the new year and beat the winner.”
Elsewhere on Friday’s card, Tursynbay Kulakhmet defends his WBC International super-welterweight title against Juan Carlos Abreu, Pierce O’Leary takes on Siar Ozgul, Jordan Reynolds returns against Rodolfo Paterno, Shiloh Defreitas makes his professional debut against Fonz Alexander, Sean McGoldrick meets Stephen Jackson, Lerone Harrison fights Simas Volosinas, Will Hamilton squares off with Ivo Zednicek, and Joe Giles enters the paid ranks for the first time.