Adam Azim admits Dalton Smith showdown is one ‘for years to come’

Adam Azim makes the first defence of his European title on Saturday against Denmark’s Enock Poulsen, but he admits the bigger nights lie further ahead in his future.

While affording the 14-0 (5KOs) Poulsen every respect, Azim is already aware that British fans are navigating towards a future fight between the Slough star and Sheffield counterpart Dalton Smith.

Azim is 10-0, Sheffield’s Smith is 15-0 (11KOs), and Smith meets California veteran Jose Zepeda in the UK in April.

Azim-Smith is on Azim’s radar, but the fighter said it is by no means imminent.

“That fight’s going to happen later in years to come because we both want to hopefully win world titles first,” Azim said. “And it’s not the fight to make now, it’s a fight to make down the line.”

Poulsen fights out of Denmark for the first time when he meets Azim in Wembley on Saturday, on the Joshua Buatsi-Dan Azeez bill, and Azim has no intentions of looking beyond Poulsen.

“Every fighter I fight, I treat them like they’re the best I’ve fought so far,” Azim explained. “I want to be in the ring and I underestimate no one. I could say he’s another guy just stopping me from trying to win a world title and hopefully I’ll get through him on Saturday night.”

Azim is buoyed by being part of a busy gym, and one that is riding high. Trained by Shane McGuigan, Azim counts Caroline Dubois, brother Hassan, WBO cruiser champ Chris Billam-Smith and now light-heavyweight contender Craig Richards as gymmates.

“It’s a big stable and we’ve got world-class fighters in the gym,” added the 21-year-old. “I’ve also got a world-class trainer who’s done it all as well, so it’s a big thing for me. It’s an important thing for my career. It’s good to be amongst world-class fighters.”

Azim has moved swiftly, and he hopes to be on the verges of world-class by early 2025. Azim has won a few contests very early, usually through power and blistering handspeed, but he’s gone the 10-round distance twice and stopped Frenchman Franck Petitjean in the 10th of their European title fight last time out, in November.

“My progression has gone really well, the way I’ve been developing as a fighter, every time I fight or go to the gym I’m always learning, so my development has been incredible,” said Azim, who will be keeping a close eye on Saturday’s main event between Buatsi and Azeez. 

“It’s a good fight,” Azim went on, discussing the main event. “I’m good friends with Dan Azeez, so hopefully he does the job but it’s a cracking fight, a great fight for the public and a great fight for the fans. I feel like Dan Azeez is going to do it.”