Adam Azim intends to continue his rapid rise through the boxing ranks as he targets a fight with former world champion George Kambosos in the next 12 months.
“I think I could take him in a year or so, anytime Shane [McGuigan, his trainer] he thinks it’s right,” Azim said Sky Sports.
“I don’t even mind,” he continued. “Because I know how to beat him. That would be a good name. Because he was a world champion.”
Australia’s Kambosos defeated Teofimo Lopez in a stunning upset last year. However, Devin Haney surpassed him last month to become the undisputed lightweight champion of the world.
“The way George Kambosos went into this match was not a good game plan,” Azim noted. [Devin] Haney picked him out pretty easily,” he added.
The Brit will only turn 20 this Thursday but is determined to reach world class sooner rather than later.
“I could be world champion for two more years, one and a half years, you never know, because I want to become a champion at a young age and continue to develop,” Azim declared.
“It’s a task, it’s a challenge, and it’s a step-by-step process. I believe that if I use it as motivation, it will drive me more in training.”
”I can get to the top,” the rising star concluded.
It’s an ambitious plan, but not an unlikely one. Shane McGuigan has already identified Azim as the most talented boxer he has ever trained. That’s a distinction Azim now wants to live up to. Instead of taking it as just praise, he described it as a “challenge” for him.
When we talk about his coach Sky Sports, Azim expressed what McGuigan’s statement meant to him when he stated, “He believes in me. I believe in myself. For Shane to say I’m one of his top talents in the gym, I’m moving forward. It means a lot to me and I use that as motivation .”
Until now, Azim has presented awards in the ring. In his last fight, he stopped Anthony Loffet in 66 seconds. He was exceptional in his previous fight, knocking out Connor Marsden in just 30 seconds.
A seasoned amateur himself, Marsden bounced back from a loss to Azim to beat Mickey O’Rourke in a 10-round fight for the Southern Region title earlier this month. Azim’s result against him looks all the better.
“He’s doing well, honestly. When I went into that game, everybody was saying, ‘It’s a big step up, it’s a big step up.’ But I knew in my heart that it’s not really a step up for me. This is just a process of getting better and better. Every match I’ve done is a step up,” Azim recalled.
“I felt normal, I took this fight as a normal fight. I trained really hard, I knew if he hit him clean anywhere, I knew I would knock him out or stop him. But hats off to him, respect to him, to get up [doing] good now.”
Azim enters his fights with a seek-and-destroy mentality.
“When I go into the ring, I’m locked in, I’m focused, I ignore everything around me.
”My goal is just to get that knockout win, but of course in style and using my IQ in a smart way. So I’m trying to develop ways to get shots in, ways to knock him out,” he explained.
“I still have a lot to do. You’re learning every day. When I retire, I want to know that I’ve accomplished a lot, that’s when I’ll say I’ve done it.”
“I know I’m not there yet.
Adam Azim on the next matches he wants: “Rylan Charlton is a big name in the sport as well and I’ll definitely be in that game one day, probably before the end of the year. We’ll sit down with my team and see what we do.”
”I’m happy to take these big tests as well, because this is where I can show my skills and develop more and show what’s in me.
“I’m happy to be tested in deep waters like this and I know I’ll come out on top. I’d also like to fight Dylan Cheema. I’d love to have Cheema but we’ll see what he wants.” .
”He did well in the BOXXER series, I’ll give him that, but I believe I can beat him quite easily.
”He handled the last performance well, but he could have done better. But anyone who has a balanced performance is criticized by a lot of people.”
Barry Jones, former WBO champion and boxing expert, on Azim: “I know he’s young and there are always boxes to check.
”What kind of beard does he have? How is he under pressure when things don’t work out for him?
”He’s moved up in weight now, so some of the advantages he has may not be as great when he’s moved up in weight. But I think it’s a natural talent. If any of those boxes can be ticked – and I think they will be – then he’s the one who’s going to make it all happen.”
Adam Azim joins the latest episode of the Toe2Toe podcast, Sky Sports’ weekly boxing show.
The biggest fight in women’s boxing history – Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall – is live on Sky Sports on Saturday 10 September. Be a part of history and buy tickets for the match in London here.
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