Birmingham’s Raza Hamza is as a star of the future, already alerting some of his obvious potential whilst also putting the featherweight division on notice of whats to come.
Fighting under the guidance of Frank Warren, he has taken his record to 9-0-1 with a major step up against Lewis Pettitt next on the horizon in June.
TopClassBoxing’s Michael Shepherd took the chance to sit down with the prospect earlier this week where he was able to cement the following Q&A:
Tell us about how you first got involved in the sport and tour amateur career?
What got me into boxing was my uncle and my mother, I loved football but being Asian would have been difficult in prospering in football, so I took up boxing because it gave me something to do at evenings after school
My amateur career was a rollercoaster ride, I lost my Mum on the morning of my first ever fight and since then I didn’t look back, I had 70 contest winning 61, taking 5 junior titles, 2 x British CYP Champion, 2 x Asia champion and I was a Senior ABA semi-finalist, I also won a Cadet Gold medal in a mini Europe tournament.
Do you think the amateur circuit is important for a young boxer to go through?
The amateur circuit is a must in my eyes, it gives young children and teenagers the experience they need. I think fighters should go amateur first and experience every level before deciding to turn professional!
What made you decide to turn professional & how old were you?
I decided to turn professional at the age of 21, for the first year I just trained and adapted to the pro game then I had my first contest a year later, I had enough of not being selected for Great Britain and not given the opportunities I deserved as an amateur, this made up my mind to go pro.
What are your memories of your professional debut?
My debut was probably the best night ever, I just remember all the nerves etc but I worked really hard and the fight was over within a minute it was a great experience as I finished the fight with my favourite punch.
What is your favourite boxing memory so far?
My favourite boxing memory has to be winning my first ever national title it was great, I didn’t think I’d ever achieve what I did as an amateur.
For people that haven’t seen you box, talk me through your style? What are your best qualities?
Those who ain’t seen me box I have a few game plans up my sleeve, I can fight, I can box, I can move, all comes down to what mood I’m in on the night but you can always expect fireworks.
Who are some of the best you’ve sparred with to date & how beneficial was it for you?
I’ve sparred some of the best out there, I’ve sparred Naoya Inoue, Scott Quigg, had a move around with Lee Selby once, loads of rounds with Kal Yafai and Stuart Hall. The rounds were very beneficial and I’ve learnt so much I can’t wait to fight now
Do you feel any pressure that you are looked at and labelled a great British prospect?
I feel no pressure being a British prospect I just work hard, do what I have to and give it my very best, I leave the rest to my God.
All-time favourite Fighter?
My all-time favourite has to be Edwin Valero or Tommy Hearns they had some fighting style.
Who inspired you to pull on the gloves?
My mother got me into boxing before she passed, it was her dream for me to become a champion one day
What songs are always on the gym playlist when you are training?
I love listening to Tupac or Biggy in the gym, it just gets me excited haha.
Any short term and long term goals at this point, or anything that you would like to achieve in X amount of time?
My goals in boxing are to keep winning, as long as I do what I have to and beat who’s in front of me then the skies the limit for me.
What is going on with your boxing career now- Can you tell readers when? Where? And against whom you will be fighting next?
I am 10-0 and shall fight Lewis Petitt in a break through fight on June 23rd at the O2 arena, that should then put me in positions for titles and I can push on once I beat him.
What are your hopes for the rest of 2018 & 2019?
My plans for 2018-2019, it’s time to start winning titles and stamping my authority and getting people talking about me.
Final words or closing statements?
Final message, don’t blink when I fight!!!