Adam Azim’s last fight was a step up in class. Yet he ended it in just 30 seconds with two knockdowns and devastating speed.
Azim moves fast. In his career, despite only being a four-bout novice, he expects to advance rapidly. In the ring, his hands are lightning quick. He demonstrated all that in March against Connor Marsden.
After beating three journeymen, Azim took on in Marsden his first professional opponent with a winning record, and one who isn’t an easy touch. A towering lightweight, he has good amateur experience and is a solid domestic level opponent.
Marsden was coming off his career best win too, having beaten Boy Jones Jr to win the Southern Area title in his previous bout. His non-title six-rounder with Azim looked even on paper. In practice it was anything but.
Azim tore into Marsden, bombed him off his feet twice and finished the bout in just 30 seconds. It was a blistering performance.
“To honest I can’t reflect on it because it ended in 30 seconds,” Azim said. “I caught him right on the button and if you land on the chin then you’re going down.”
He will be in action again this Saturday, at the Coventry Skydome Arena broadcast live on Sky Sports, and he warns viewers, “Don’t blink.”
Training with coach Shane McGuigan, he promises he will continue to improve. “I’ve developed so much. So there’s so much stuff I was doing wrong,” he said. “You can see from my fights I’m developing and improving. It’s just been a massive difference, I’ve changed as a fighter… Punching down on my shots, staying calm when I need to, not hesitating.”
His short term objectives are clear. Keep racking up the wins and start winning belts. “I want to get as many fights as I can this year, keep stacking up those and it would be great just before my birthday if I get a title,” Azim said.
Lightweight is an exciting division and Azim wants, eventually, to emulate Devin Haney who recently unified all four of the major 135lb titles against George Kambosos to become the undisputed lightweight champion.
“I knew that was going to happen. George Kambosos, he doesn’t like anyone if they don’t fight front foot. Devin Haney was just keeping it on the outside so I’m pretty sure I knew Haney was going to win quite easy and he took all the belts. Now the dream’s become reality,” he said.
“It would be a dream come true. I want to have one of those big fights one day and take one of them, that’s my dream.”
Hype and high hopes are building around Azim. But even as he moves quickly, he still needs to take his career step by step.
“I have to stay focused. Boxing is a dangerous sport so you have to keep dedicated and determined,” Azim said.
“I still have to stay grounded and stayed focused. Because I’m using that as my motivation, I’m not going to use that to get my ego up or anything like that, I’m just trying to achieve my goal.”
‘In a year let the reins off’
Former world champion Barry Jones and rising welter Florian Marku on how quickly the Azim brothers can be moved
Rising welterweight Florian Marku is tipping Adam Azim and his brother Hassan for future stardom.
“I like the two brothers. They are good guys first of all and very, very good boxers. I think they have a great future if they put the work in. They are young and they are taking big steps. They love their boxing, that’s the most important thing and that they put the work in. I’m excited to see their future,” Marku told Sky Sports.
Barry Jones, the former world champion and boxing expert, believes Adam can certainly be moved quickly.
“I think you can’t hide any more. With social media and everything, records, being more accessible, you can’t hold a fighter back like you could 20 years ago when you could feed him the right styles,” he said.
“I think it’s quite organic with Adam, you just let him go. You just step him up little step by little step but I think by the end of maybe next year, if he keeps progressing the way he is, he looks like a true star, I think you’ve just got to let the reins off and let him go for it. I know it sounds crazy but I think he’s that talented.
Watch Adam Azim, Sam Eggington vs Przemyslaw Zysk, Karriss Artingstall’s pro debut and more live on Sky Sports this Saturday