Dan Azeez: ‘I’m the king now. You can’t mention the light-heavyweight scene without mentioning me’

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Dan Azeez
Dan Azeez is out for revenge when he boxes an old rival, Matthew Tinker next, writes John Dennen

DAN AZEEZ will begin his multi-fight deal with Sky Sports on Saturday (March 26) at Wembley Arena against an old rival. Matthew Tinker beat Azeez when they were amateurs. Now the British light-heavyweight champion, Azeez wants revenge.

“He’s a hell of fighter. I said why not, put him in there,” Azeez said of Tinker. “I’d love to get my revenge on him for the pasting he gave me.

“He’s a good fighter, top lad, top boxer and we can make a top fight.”

The champion warns he’s changed from the boxer he used to be when they were amateurs. “The achievement speaks for itself,” Dan said. “My coach has the quality to be able to take someone who’s absolutely crap, so to speak, and have the patience as well to get them through and watch them develop and give them that time and that’s what my coach Brian O’Shaughnessy has done.

“I’m a much different animal.”

Beating Hosea Burton, in exciting style on Sky, last time out was vital for Azeez. “I was won’t take anything away from Hosea, he was game, experienced,” Dan said. “He was my toughest opponent. Even in there, there were little things he was doing, everything.

“Right now tickets are selling by themselves, people see that I’m an exciting fighter. They want to see an exciting fight and hopefully March 26 is no different and I can put on a show.”

“This fight I’m getting loads of people wanting to buy tickets, who I don’t know at all, it feels weird to me,” he added. “It’s wicked.”

Dan Azeez
Lawrence Lustig

Winning the British championship was essential as well. He has a place now in the exciting domestic 175lb division. “That was one of the reasons it meant so much for me to win the British title as well. To say I’m the king now. What’s everyone saying? You can’t mention the light-heavyweight scene without mentioning me,” Azeez said. “Hopefully, we can all mix it up, back and forth, some trilogies maybe, who knows?”

He has signed a four-fight deal with Sky Sports television and their promoter Boxxer. “See if I can squeeze out four fights this year because I like to be busy but regardless it’s a big opportunity, the biggest platform in the UK, a chance for the wider public to see me,” Dan said. “I had a lot of people that watched my last fight.”

If he prevails against Tinker he’d be open to boxing Lyndon Arthur next and in the long run hopes to lure Anthony Yarde into a fight. “Hopefully [Arthur next], I rate him as a fighter. He’s a credible opponent. He got stopped by Yarde in his last fight but he’s definitely still up there, one of the top boys in the division so why not? I’d love to mix it up with him. I’ve told Sky I want the Commonwealth [title], because it’s a thing for a me to be able to say I’m British and Commonwealth champion,” Dan said. “Yarde, let’s see if we can get something going on there

“I still remain humble, I’ve got my head down. We’re at a good place right now but there’s still so much more I’m trying to achieve and I want to do. I’ve got to stay grounded, and keep pushing.”

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