Hamzah Sheeraz was described as Britain’s best prospect by former two-weight world champion, Carl Frampton after he secured a 12th straight victory in November.
Sheeraz (12-0, 8 KOs) stopped Guido Nicolas Pitto in the tenth and final round to retain his WBO European Super Welterweight title for the second time, a performance which caught the eye of pundit for the night, Frampton on the BT Sport broadcast, as well as David Haye, who delivered praised in equal measure.
Such high plaudits did not go unnoticed, with the unbeaten contender admitting he was honoured to hear their seal of approval, although he is determined to live up to the hype.
“It was a massive compliment,” Sheeraz told proboxing-fans.com at Thursday’s press conference in London.
“Especially coming off not my best performance, obviously it was a knockout at the end of the day.
“But, it was a huge compliment [from] a two-time world champion like himself and David Haye as well, so yeah [I] was lost for words really.
“It’s all good like I said them saying it, I’ve just got to do it now and that’s what I’m going to do.”
The 22-year-old has since switched stateside to join up with experienced trainer Ricky Funez at the Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Los Angeles and his new coach believes he has the potential to reach a similar level to four-weight world champion and consensus pound-for-pound number one, Canelo Alvarez.
“He’s disciplined,” Funez said.
“That’s the main thing in boxing you want a disciplined fighter and he’s very mature for his age.
They were queueing up to praise Hamzah Sheeraz last night!
David Haye 🗣 “It was just a 10/10.”
Carl Frampton 🗣 “He reminds me of Diego Corrales.” pic.twitter.com/X7zSWf2FyZ
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) November 29, 2020
“It’s been great so far and I keep telling this and I keep telling people in America he’s going to be at that Canelo level really soon.
“Even [trainer] Joe Goossen pulled me to the side, he goes ‘Ricky, you hit it’, so for Joe Goossen to tell me that it’s refreshing to me.”
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Asked what has impressed him most about working with the Slough native, Funez added: “His power and his patience and how he just picks his shots, he doesn’t just waste any punches.
“That’s what impressed me, for being that age. A lot of fighters want to go out there and just get the guy out of the way.
“He takes his time, he picks his shots and he doesn’t waste shots.”
Sheeraz makes a third defence of his crown against former Spanish champion, Ezequiel Gurria on the undercard of Joe Joyce’s clash with Carlos Takam at the SSE Arena on Saturday night.
“He’s a good mover,” he said of his opponent.
“This is his big opportunity on BT Sport. He’s fighting for my title. He’s going to come and try and rip it away from me.
“But at the end of the day, I’ve trained too hard, I’ve been away from my family for too long to slip up.
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“So come Saturday night, in all honesty he should just get destroyed.”
The British Boxing Board of Control called for purse bids last week for a showdown between Sheeraz and Anthony Fowler as a final eliminator for the British title held by Ted Cheeseman.
Sheeraz says he will leave any fight decisions to his management and promoter, Frank Warren but believes even without the coveted Lonsdale belt he is the number one in the country.
“I wouldn’t be in boxing, I wouldn’t step in the ring if I thought otherwise. If I had any doubts I wouldn’t step in the ring.”
Watch the full interview with Hamzah Sheeraz and Ricky Funez below: