Hamza Azeem is ready to break free as a professional boxer after coming highly recommended for the paid ranks.
His introduction will come when BCB Promotions’ next offering at the H Suite arrives in Edgbaston, Birmingham, with a Friday fight night set for September 23.
The 22-year-old middleweight grew up in Kings Heath, but is now a resident of Bournville and works as a prison officer, operating the holding cells at Birmingham Crown Court.
Azeem has been boxing since the age of 13 and had his first amateur bout at 15, racking up seven victories from 11 outings before deciding to turn pro.
He represented Studio and Bartley Green Boxing Club and will be taking his amateur coach, Dave Clarke, with him into the pro ranks.
It was at Bartley Green where he became a sparring partner of Kane Baker, who is from the area and is one of BCB’s longest-serving professionals.
That has led to Azeem also joining BCB and he wants to get busy, having endured many a stop-start run during his amateur career.
He said: “I didn’t have many amateur fights, but I’ve been around the pros for a while now and done well against them, in sparring, so that’s given me some confidence.
“It wasn’t light work for me, being an amateur, and nearly all of my bouts were against good opponents. I was 4-0, at one stage, and I got robbed on a split (decision, points) a few times.
“My last one, as an amateur, was a rematch, against a lad from Small Heath (BC) called Rashid Mohammed. He was huge, but I’ve beaten him twice unanimously.
“It was Kane (Baker) who put me on to BCB (Promotions). I met him when I first went to Bartley Green (Boxing Club) a couple of years ago.
“I’ve sparred with him and he’s seen something in me, which I appreciate and he’s a good friend. I want to turn over and he’s helped me to do that.
“I’ve been training hard and my job is 9-5, so I’m able to train one-to-one with my coach (Dave Clarke) five times a week, plus I can do my runs in the morning, before work.
“I know that I’ve got talent, I’m a tricky southpaw and I see myself as a boxer who sees openings and picks my opponent off. I’ve got fast hands and feet.
“There are levels to boxing and I’m happy to have 10 learning fights, if it gets me to where I want to be. I’ll step up when I’m ready to, but my time will come.”
Tickets for the H Suite bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.