The comparisons with past world champions are impossible to resist, but they’ll have to wait. A few minutes in the company of British-Pakistani boxer Hamzah Sheeraz and it’s clear you’re in the presence of a unique talent.
The WBO European junior-middleweight champion is at Real Boxing Only gym in Dubai’s Al-Quoz, preparing for shot at the WBO International title in November.
He’s only 22, and he could just be boxing’s next big thing. “Boxing has always been in my family,” Sheeraz said.
“My uncle was a boxer, he was an eight-time English champion, represented Great Britain in a few tournaments as well, and at the age of eight he took me to a gym, and since that day I’ve never looked back. I fell in love with it straight away, and the older I got, the more I understood the sport and my love grew for it.”
Born in Slough, England, the 6ft 3in (1.9 meter) fighter already has a professional record of 13 wins and no losses, and despite his tender years, often talks like a veteran. “I was entering competitions at the age of 10 and onwards,” said Sheeraz. “I’m 22 now so it’s a long time I’ve been competing in boxing. It’s almost like it’s the only thing I know.
Some people prioritise education, some people prioritise other things in life but boxing for me is my priority, always has been. And I’m lucky I had family support as well.”
Sheeraz admits he was a “late maturer” and struggled with confidence from the age of 10 to 17. “When I started knocking my opponents out, then I realized, okay there might be something there, and I can unlock that potential from within,” he said.—Agencies