Azeez targets English title win – with New Cross fighter Sterling chasing glory in Golden Contract Tournament

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Lewisham light-heavyweight Dan Azeez has the chance to win the English title tomorrow.

The 30-year-old was very impressive in halting Charlie Duffield to pick up the Southern Area strap in July.

And now Lawrence Osueke stands in the way of him adding another belt to the collection when the pair collide at Brentwood Centre.

Azeez (10-0) had originally been due to meet Dec Spelman but instead faces Newcastle’s Osueke (9-0-1).

“Dec’s style is to come forward and he likes to have it,” said the South Londoner. “Osueke is more schooled – he was on the GB podium squad. He’s a tall, rangy boxer.

“But the changes are all part of the game. I’ve had it before when an opponent has switched – the job is still the same, to go out there and get your hand raised.

“It will be like a fairytale to win this title.”

New Cross-based Andre Sterling is on the same show but competes in the Golden Contract Tournament.

The  Lambeth-born puncher was a late entrant into the competition – which will see the winner handed a highly lucrative deal.

Sterling is in the draw with  seven other boxers.

He said: “I don’t even know how all this came about really. I was just focused on training and grafting.

“I’ve got a lot of faith in my team and then I came in to training one day and my trainer told me it might be happening.

“I then went to watch the super-lightweight Golden Contract show at York Hall. I’m very happy with the set-up and it’s a great platform to have the chance to compete on. This is what we all train for. This is what we all work hard for.

“We practice our skillset every day so we can take part in big things like this.

“I always said we all train hard. We’re all hungry and my rivals will be going out there feeling the same way I do. I have nothing negative to say about any of them.

“This opportunity could be absolutely life-changing for me.”

The Golden Contract tournament will be screened by Sky Sports in the UK and ESPN in the United States.

Picture by Keith Gillard

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