Dan Azeez requires Britain’s crop of gifted light-heavies to get combating each other
DAN AZEEZ is taking an old style strategy along with his boxing. He’s not trying to bypass the home scene. He’s hoping to thrive in it. In his 12-0 profession, he’s boxed British rival after British rival, profitable the Southern Space and English light-heavyweight titles within the course of. He continues alongside that path on Saturday (April 17) when he fights Ricky Summers in Bolton.
“Ricky, he’s a strong opponent, he’s boxed at British stage. He misplaced to Frank Buglioni. I’d say he’s extra skilled than me,” Azeez instructed Boxing Information. “I believe it’s an excellent check for me to see the place I’m now. Clearly I’m making an attempt to climb that ladder, get myself a British title shot or a Commonwealth title shot. I assume he’s an excellent opponent to see the place I’m proper now. So I’m wanting ahead to it. He’s obtained a method that can make for an excellent battle between us. He comes ahead, I come ahead as effectively.”
Azeez has taken dangers. He got here out of fights with Charlie Duffield, Lawrence Osueke and Andre Sterling unbeaten however these had been exhausting, well-matched bouts. “That’s the place my confidence comes from,” Dan stated. “They’re good boxers. After I come throughout them and I do what I do, it provides me that additional little bit of confidence.
“Osueke, after we had been within the amateurs he was one of many prime light-heavies. I’d be bloody scared to battle him if I come throughout him then. [So] I keep in mind him from the amateurs, a really slick, good mover. Not really easy to hit.”
“I used to be actually happy with that win,” he continued. “For me to beat him within the professionals, that meant rather a lot to me.”
He gained the Southern Space title stopping Charlie Duffield on the O2 in 2019. “He was one other prime light-heavyweight within the amateurs,” Azeez stated. “He may punch so I needed to be very cautious of blending it up with him. The subsequent day after that battle my physique was in items.”
He had outpointed Osueke over 10 rounds in Brentwood and in his solely battle of 2020 additionally halted Andre Sterling. “Sterling is hard and rugged, however awkward as effectively. Brings out the persona in you,” Azeez stated. “He was actually peeing me off however it was one thing I needed to cope with.
“At sure instances within the battle I wasn’t actually concentrating, I simply wished to beat him up. This time I understand how to deal with these type of conditions.”
The route he has plotted out is the strategy of an old style professional. If he retains profitable, Azeez hopes it can lead him to a shot on the British title. “It’s good to maintain chipping away within the home scene as a result of it builds you as a fighter. I’ve obtained the Southern Space, I’ve obtained the English, and the following step, hopefully I would like it to be the British. I simply wish to preserve simply chipping away at that stage. It helps me develop as a fighter. I don’t wish to get to European stage after which I’m combating my first kind of exhausting type of man after which I’m like woah that is completely different. I don’t wish to be fooled by any means,” Dan stated.
The British scene already has an thrilling combine. Profitable the British title has catapulted Craig Richards right into a world title battle with Dmitry Bivol. Olympic star Joshua Buatsi is one other high quality light-heavyweight from south London like Richards and Azeez. Lyndon Arthur defeated Anthony Yarde to defend the Commonwealth belt whereas former world title challenger Callum Johnson makes his return on April 24.
“The extra I preserve climbing the ladder. The extra I’m going to get nearer to these guys and it’s solely a matter of time earlier than I’m matched up with them,” Azeez stated. “I’d say Callum’s resume places him on the prime of the pile and Lyndon obtained an excellent win towards Yarde lately. Yarde could be very highly effective. They’re all good fighters. That’s my plan, to maintain profitable and get my title talked about amongst them.”
“The British home scene we’ve obtained loads of good light-heavyweights,” he added. “It makes for entertaining fights for the followers. Who cares if considered one of us takes an L or what not? If it’s entertaining do it once more.
“We’ve obtained an excellent bunch of us and I believe we should always all be mixing it up.”