About every decade a young boxer emerges in the UK who brings so much electricity to the ring that he recharges British boxing by captivating crowds and raising it to new rarefied world heights.
The 1980’s brought the diminutive Charlie Magri plus Frank Bruno’s popular enormity, in the early ’90’s we rose to the chimes of Big Ben to announce the arrival of Nigel to the ring, then in the 2,000’s we rose again to the floating of the magic carpet with the ‘Prince’, Naseem Hamed atop. All of these fighters became household names and elevated themselves to become part of the British national psyche and most became national heroes.
This year the UK has a plethora of domestic prospects who are already on the launch pad waiting to ignite the British and world scene.
Top of the list and recently voted British Prospect of the Year by renowed boxing publication Boxing News is Adam Azim (7-0, 6 KO’s). A Muslim from a Slough, Berkshire boxing family, promoted by Ben Shalom’s BOXXER company and regularly featuring on Sky Sports the charge that he brings to the ring is felt on his imminent arrival. ‘The Assassin’ title is apt with power so concussive that the 20 year olds performances since debuting just over a year ago are reminiscent of the ‘Prince’. Weighing in at 140lbs and campaigning at super-lightweight his future looks extremely bright.
Close on the heels of Azim but yet to fully ignite is 2020 Olympic silver medallist Ben Whittaker. With only two fights to his name much is expected of the unbeaten man from the Midlands. The guidance of world renowned trainer SugarHill Steward is sure to help the light-heavyweight’s development over the next few years. Watch that space !
Frank Warren’s camp can boast two excellent prospects from the neighbouring London county of Kent. Dennis ‘The Menace’ McCann (14-0, 8 KO’s) a 22 year old super-bantamweight and two-time Amateur Boxing Association champion Sam Noakes (10-0, 10 KO’s). Noakes at age 25 and campaigning at lightweight is moving up the WBC rankings quickly.
2020 Team GB Olympians Frazer Clarke (4-0, 3 KO’s) and Caroline Dubois (5-0, 4 KO’s) are making inroads into the professional code. The impressive Dubois is at lightweight and ‘Big Fraze’ at heavyweight.
With the healthy competition amongst British promotional outfits Matchroom, BOXXER and Queensberry, amongst others, there is the desire to build camps with an eye on the immediate and forseeable future. Look for many more prospects waiting in the wings to emerge, but the above are the pick to date.