Adam Azim continues his development next month when he defends his European super lightweight title against Denmark’s unbeaten Enock Poulsen.
The 21-year-old is one of the most eye-catching natural talents to have emerged in Britain for some time but even the most gifted fighters benefit from a touch of competition and Azim has a serious rivalry quietly brewing.
A fight between Azim, who is promoted by Boxxer, and British champion, Dalton Smith, who fights under the Matchroom banner, is one of the best fights that British boxing could currently serve up. However, even in this current climate of promotional bon homie, there doesn’t seem to be much inclination on either side to make the fight happen just yet.
Azim and Smith have the potential to develop into outstanding fighters but although both are popular with boxing fans, they each have plenty of room to grow before they can be classed as genuine box office attractions. Best laid plans often go to waste in boxing - as Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua recently found out - but in this instance, waiting will allow both fighters to continue developing both professionally and commercially. When they do meet, there should be far more than domestic bragging rights on the line.
“Yeah, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. It’s more just building the fight and making into like a big stadium fight or even a big arena fight so a lot of people want to wait for that fight,” Azim told Boxing King Media.
“I'm still young - 21 years old - and I've only had 10 fights and for me to win the European title at my age is a big thing. I haven’t looked at the British title. I’m looking beyond that now. I'm looking at world class level opponents after this fight.
“Hopefully get that dominant performance and get that knockout and hopefully move on to bigger and better things. Hopefully in June like I want to put a show on in Slough and have a homecoming.”
Azim has done everything asked of him so far, dominating outmatched opponents and boxing sensibly to beat more experienced operators like Aram Faniian and Petitjean. Talent runs deep in the junior welterweight division and although Azim is on an accelerated apprenticeship, he will need to be battle tested before mixing with the big guns at 140lbs. He has been brought along perfectly so far and there is no need to rush his progress now. Nonetheless, he has already begun to build a list of dream opponents.
“Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Teofimo [Lopez], all those big fights I want them. Hopefully down the line have those fights and even a new Muslim brother called Abdul Wahid, also known as Gervonta [Davis]. That would be a good fight down the line but I do respect him. He’s obviously pushed his side to Islam,” Azim said.
“I'll be happy to fight him and also you’ve got Devin Haney, he's also a Muslim brother. I do respect all these lot but when it comes to it in the ring, then I've got to show what I have to do.”