Fast-fisted and freakishly tall for a super welterweight, Hamzah Sheeraz has a glorious future according to some observers. The 22-year-old is now unbeaten in 13 fights after stopping Ezequiel Gurria, the former Spanish champion, in the fifth round at Wembley.
It was a professional, rather than sensational display. He remained at long range, not giving Gurria a sniff of success, and slowly picked him off, before finally stepping up a gear in the fifth round.
It was Sheeraz’s first fight of 2021 and the plan is for him to box three times this year. It was also the Slough boxer’s first fight since he began training under Ricky Funez in Los Angeles.
For the first two rounds, Sheeraz was content to work from distance, but he began to put his punches into combinations at the end of the third round and Gurria had no answer.
Throughout the fourth, Sheeraz resisted the temptation to throw caution to the wind, sticking behind a high guard and a long jab, before finding a way through with the odd harder punch.
The fifth, though, saw him turn it on, trapping Gurria on the ropes and dropping him with a series of three body punches. He rose at eight and Sheeraz got stuck in straight away, unloading with a series of heavy shots. Gurria held on but, backed up to the ropes, he was dropped by a heavy left uppercut, prompting referee Marcus McDonnell to wave it off at 2:23 if the round.
The WBO’s European belt was on the line.