Lewisham boxer commits full-time to boxing dream – even if that hits him in the pocket

By Richard Cawley

Lewisham light-heavyweight Dan Azeez earned a degree in accounting and finance – but is not earning a penny as he pursues his boxing dream.

The 28-year-old is 3-0 since turning professional and will look to chalk up another victory on Saturday.

Azeez is not trying to juggle a day job around his training schedule. He said: “I don’t feel I can achieve my goals if I am half-hearted. I have to go all in and work is one of the sacrifices I had to make.

“It is something I have got to do but it is quite difficult. I’m not even earning anything, I’m just about covering my expenses – if anything I’m at a loss. But I believe if I put 100 per cent in then I will definitely get somewhere.”

Catford-based Azeez studied at Essex University, also boxing for their amateur team.

“I wanted to get as much experience as I could,” he explained. “The amateurs are like your apprenticeship. I had 60 to 70 fights and boxed some top boys – some of the ones I beat are now top guys in the pros.

“A lot of people said my style is more suited to the pros. I started sparring some decent professionals and was doing well against them.”

Azeez has signed with MTK Global, who also have former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on their books.

“I know everyone says they want to be world champion but for now I just want to be the best domestically. My coach and team feel that is very realistic. Once you are at the top level domestically in Britain then you are on the fringes of world level, because Britain and America have the best boxers.

“Once I get there then we’ll see what I can do. For now it is about climbing the rankings, getting my name out there and building a bit of a profile. I’d like a title fight by the middle or end of next year.”

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