Shalom delighted with progress of hotshot Azim

Promoter Ben Shalom says hotshot prospect Adam Azim is exactly where he wants him to be, as Azim bids to challenge for a European title in just his 10th fight.

Shane McGuigan-trained Azim has stopped six of his nine victims, and he has got 10-rounds under his belt in his last two fights, defeating Aram Faniian and Santos Reyes, hardly losing a round in the process.

The super-lightweight starlet meets Frenchman Franck Petitjean, 24-6-3 (6 KOs), at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall on Saturday.

“We are actually ahead of where we want him to be,” Shalom said. “To be going into your 10th fight, and fighting for the European title, and to have the experiences that he’s had, and to have had tough nights, especially the last two fights…. 

“At 21-years-old, you can’t ask for much more, because he’s had to deal with adversity, he’s had to deal with being slightly injured [hand] in the ring, he’s had to deal with chief support on the box office night, he’s had to deal with headline nights against very tough opponents – a stubborn opponent that he couldn’t get rid of for 10 rounds. He’s been through a lot in [almost] 10 fights, so to be in now at 21-years-old fighting for a European title with that experience behind him, and the training team as well, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Lightning-fisted Azim has bagged sparring rounds with Andy Lee prospect Paddy Donovan in preparation, and Azim seemed hard done by not to win the prestigious Boxing Writers’ Young Boxer of the Year award recently. Azim has skills to burn, and with his speed and power, he is proving difficult to match.

“It’s so difficult to actually develop a fighter in this era, like could you imagine, Ricky Hatton, how many fights did he have, before he actually fought anyone, it just couldn’t happen,” Shalom added. “And I’m not saying it needs to go to that extreme, but fighters need to develop, especially the ones as young as Adam [Azim], especially the ones that haven’t had that [amateur or pro] experience. So it’s difficult, it’s not just what he’s had to learn inside the ring, but outside the ring – the pressure, already the jibes, already the stuff around who he’s fighting next – ‘Who’s he fighting? Why’s he fighting this person?’ 

“You can’t win in that position as a fighter coming through, so it is a challenge to develop a fighter but he’s dealt with it so well. He’s moving at such a pace, that I don’t think anyone can complain about his last two opponents, and the fact that he’s beaten Dalton Smith, Harlem Eubank, and every experienced fighters to the European title, yeah, he’s dealt with things very well.”