Featured image: Lawrence Lustig/BOXXER.
Young star Adam Azim (9-0, 6 KOs) is looking to get back to his devastating best when he faces Franck Petitjean (24-6-3, 6 KOs) for the EBU European super-lightweight championship when he tops the bill on Boxxer’s show in Wolverhampton this Saturday.
The youngster made a name for himself by providing fans with highlight reel knockouts for six straight fights but has been criticised in both his last two contests that have gone the scheduled distance.
“My last performance I had a tough opponent… I’m a different person now… I’m a different fighter now… I’ve had great sparring, nutrition… everything has gone so well… I’m taking that European title back to Slough,” Azim said at the fight week press conference.
“I definitely want to make a massive statement… I don’t want to be going out that ring just winning the European title, I want to win by knockout.”
‘The Assassin’ would become the fastest British fighter to ever win a European title with a win on Saturday, beating Spencer Oliver’s record of 11 fights.
When asked about the prospect of breaking the record, Azim said: “It’s a massive achievement for me, obviously a British Pakistani as well, so if I do win it and win it in style… just like Spencer (Oliver) won it in style… it would be good to be the fastest guy to win it.”
Securing the finish the youngster desires could be a hard task as Petitjean has only been stopped once in his three defeats – the defeat coming back in 2014 to Rafik Harutjunjan (13-3-1, 7 KOs).
The Frenchman did not seem phased about Azim’s KO prediction at today’s press conference, saying: “I’ve had a lot of fights, I’ve fought in Denmark, Turkey, Amsterdam, Belgium… I don’t care where I am… I am the champion but I’m the outsider… Its not a problem for me… I have a lot of experience… he is very fast but its not track and field… its boxing.”
On the undercard local middleweight Tyler Denney (17-2-3, 0 Kos) also challenges for the EBU European championship against champion Matteo Signani (32-6-3, 12 Kos).
Denney has predicted a stoppage win for himself, saying: “I’m definitely beating him, 100 per cent… but I think I’m going to get him out of there towards the end.”
However, the Rowley Regis fighter is widely considered an underdog in this contest as he jumps straight from English title level to the European championship against a veteran in Sigani.
Cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe (16-0, 12 Kos) makes his return against Dylan Bregeon (13-4-1, 3 KOs) having not boxed since his KO win over former world champion Krzysztof Glowacki (32-4, 20 KOs) in January.
Riakporhe will be out to make a statement after turning down the opportunity to face IBF world champion Jai Opetaia (23-0, 18 KOs) earlier this year.
The fight of the night could be between youngster Rhys Edwards (14-0, 4 KOs) and former British champion Brad Foster (15-2-2, 5 KOs) at featherweight.
Edwards has looked good in his professional career so far but the 10-round contest against Foster could be a real test for the Welshman who is yet to box over 6 rounds.
“The Blade” has boxed the championship distance on multiple occasions winning both the British and Commonwealth super-bantamweight titles that he eventually lost to Jason Cunningham (32-7, 7 KOs).
Also on the undercard are Nyall Berry (8-0, 4 KOs), Tion Gibbs (10-1, 0 KOs), Dylan Cheema (9-1, 2 KOs) and Gully Powar (6-0, 1 KOs). Berry will have one eye on the fight between Edwards and Foster with the youngster making his way up the rankings in the same division.