Johnny Nelson: Adam Azim has ‘stardust’ to become world champion | Boxing News

Adam Azim’s “stardust” can take him all the way to the top in boxing, with his performances reminiscent of Prince Naseem Hamed, according to Johnny Nelson. 

Azim won the European super-lightweight title on Saturday in just his 10th professional fight, dominating Franck Petitjean in fantastic style at The Halls in Wolverhampton.

The 21-year-old’s speed and energy was taxing for Petitjean from the start, as part of a superb display.

Sky Sports Boxing’s Nelson was effusive in his praise on Monday, likening Azim to Prince Naseem – who held multiple featherweight world championships from 1995 to 2000, and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015.

“It was controlled, it was mature,” Nelson said.

“He had developed so much from his last two or three fights. A couple of fights ago I thought he was a little bit green, there’s still a few holes in his armoury and he’s still learning on the job. But this fight here he was on point, he was strong, he was sharp, he was focused, he wasn’t intimidated.

Adam Azim celebrates with his European title (Image: Boxxer)
Azim celebrates with his European title on Saturday after dominating Franck Petitjean

“His pace was ridiculous, and that backflip was ridiculous. But it’s well deserved and everything I’ve seen about Adam from being a young boy.

“He said he got into boxing because he had ADHD. You know, he just couldn’t keep still. But he found boxing and that focused him to be to be the person he is today. No nonsense kind of kid.  

“At 21 years old I’ve seen it before with fighters. I think he’s got stardust written all over him. The journey he’s on, it reminds me of Naz’s (Naseem Hamed) journey. He might not have the Naz personality, but he has the punch power he had, the excitement, he has a fan base behind him. It was actually a good night and I thought it was going to be a tough night for him. 

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Azim was crowned European champion on Saturday and you can watch footage from inside the ropes of his blistering stoppage win

“I do believe he can be a world champion. We did The Gloves Are Off with him, Viddal Riley, Caroline Dubois, Ben Whittaker and these guys sat there and they called themselves The Avengers because they’ve got talent, they’ve got potential world titles, they’ve got the next in written all over them. 

“Adam was very quiet, very cool, very matter-of-fact. His ambitions are the champions out there now, and that probably won’t happen for maybe 18 months, two years. But to even think that way, he puts himself in that category and I think European level will be a distant memory.

“I remember when Naz did it, he boxed for a European title and then when he got into the world scene it wasn’t as a big deal, and I think Adam’s going to be that same kind of fighter.”

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Azim says his win over Petitjean to become European champion takes him to the next level and feels it was his most ‘mature’ performance yet

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Watch all of Azim’s brutal knockouts in his career so far

Azim has revealed previously how Amir Khan represents one of his heroes.

For Nelson though, a likeness to Naz rather than Khan is more apparent.

“He doesn’t actually [remind me of a young Amir Khan],” Nelson said.

“It’s a mix between a young Amir Khan and Prince Naseem Hamed because Amir Khan, his punch output was ridiculous. But Adam seems to be a more powerful puncher than Amir Khan.

“Compared to Naz, I think he has the punch power, might not have that one knockout punch at the moment, but the only difference is he’s not got the Naz personality. He’s a calm level-headed young man. So he’s making his own path.

“To be inspired by people like Amir Khan and Prince Naseem and people like that. This is a great thing, a great start and a great line to want to cross.”