Lots of boxers talk about reaching the top of the sport but only a very small percentage of them actually reach their goal. When Hamzah Sheeraz speaks, the unbeaten middleweight exudes a belief that he will get there.
This weekend, the Young Boxer of the Year takes the next step. He headlines a card for the first time when he fights Argentina’s Francisco Torres. For the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
Sheeraz, 23, is making his second start as a full blown middleweight and if the destructive performance he put on when blasting out Jez Smith in March is anything to go by, the 160lb division’s biggest names will need to start looking over their shoulders before too long.
There have been plenty of compliments thrown Sheeraz’s way since he turned professional back in 2017 but for show promoter, Frank Warren, one quality stands out.
He’s a breath of fresh air
“The first thing I get from him is total professionalism. He’s got that kind of mindset and everything he does, he does properly,” Warren told 32Red. “He invests in himself too. Some fighters get their money and spend it on cars and god knows what else early in their careers but Hamzah invests in himself.
“He’s so professional. He’s a breath of fresh air to be honest, an intelligent boy and he’s got a good team around him.”
These days, Sheeraz prepares for his fights at the Ten Goose Gym in Los Angeles. He has been mixing with the great and the good of the American scene for a good while now and as well as picking up plenty of tips in the ring, he seems to be thriving personally on the ultra competitive West Coast gym scene.
Sheeraz is a a tall, rangy fighter and he will be getting plenty of invaluable exposure to high level, Mexican pressure fighters.
For Hamzah, the US training is working out well
Some fighters get lost in the American gyms where their name and reputation stands for little. But Sheeraz has learned how to prepare himself and how to get the most from the American experience. The whole situation seems to have benefitted him.
“It has. Sometimes everybody gets it into their heads that America is the best place to be. I’m not convinced in that but for Hamzah, it seems to really be working out well,” Warren said.
“He’s a very tall boy. I don’t know how he made light middleweight, I’ve just got no idea. He’s a natural middleweight and he’s as tall as a light heavyweight. I’m not comparing him to Tommy Hearns but he’s got that build.
“He’s a very loose limbed kid and it’s very unusual for fighters who are as tall as that to throw many body shots but Hamzah does. Normally they work on their reach and range and fight on the outside but he can fight on the inside too.
“We want to raise the game each time he fights. I’d like to see him in there in a title fight in his next couple of fights.”
Nick Ball’s got that exciting style fans want
Sheeraz might be the main attraction this weekend but there is plenty to get excited about on the card. The fight between Lennox Clarke and Mark Heffron for the British and Commonwealth super middleweight titles all but guarantees excitement and the bill is filled with some of Britain’s most exciting youngsters.
Dennis McCann gets his first real test in the talented James Beech Jnr. Tthe exciting Nick Ball will look to carry the momentum he generated in his stunning stoppage of Isaac Lowe into his bout with the tough Nathanael Kakololo. And Ryan ‘Piranha’ Garner is back in action as he prepares to jump into title level himself.
“I like Nick. I’m really pleased for him. I thought he was brilliant against Isaac Lowe at Wembley,” Warren said. “I was so thrilled for him. He’s got that exciting style and it’s exactly what the fans want to see. I want to see Ryan step up, I was always a massive fan of his. I hear he’s really settled down now so hopefully that’s the case. Let’s get this one out of the way and I’m gonna stick him in a proper, meaningful fight next time.”