ADAM AZIM is scheduled to fight for his first major title.
Boxing News has learned that the highly touted 21-year-old will challenge Frenchman Franck Petitjean, 27-7-3 (7), for the European (EBU) super-lightweight strap on November 18.
No venue or location has been finalized at this stage, but Wolverhampton could host the event (which will of course be promoted by Boxxer and broadcast live on Sky Sports).
Azim, 9-0 (6), was described as “the brightest talent in British boxing” last November by his promoter Ben Shalom and later that same month the Slough super-lightweight blitzed Rylan Charlton to win by second round stoppage in just his seventh fight. In his two fights since then Azim has twice gone the 10-round distance, first against the durable Santos Reyes and then, 10 days ago in what proved to be his toughest test to date, against Aram Fannian on the Liam Smith-Chris Eubank II undercard in Manchester.
Prior to those wins Azim was lauded by many experts as the next big thing and a future world champion. However, the runaway hype train has found a steadier speed of late, what with Azim gaining those 20 invaluable rounds.
Trained by Shane McGuigan, the talents of Azim will now be put to the test against Petitjean, a 35-year-old hailing from Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine (near Paris). The southpaw, a former French champion, has had more than four times the number of fights as Azim and fought for the European title on four occasions (holding a win-loss record of 3-1).
In his last fight Petitjean became a two-time champion when defeating Spain’s Samuel Molina narrowly on points in Paris. The veteran favors the left hook and combinations on the inside which may prove tricky against an elusive speedster like Azim.
A win for Azim would see the 140lb EBU belt back in the UK four years after Robbie Davies beat Joe Hughes in Liverpool. Suffice it to say, too, that Azim will be looking to fare better than the last time Britain faced France for the same honor all the way back in 2009. On that occasion Colin Lynes failed in his bid to win the belt for a second time when losing over 12 rounds to former world champion Souleymane M’baye in Hauts-de-Seine.
Currently Britain holds three of the 28 male and female EBU titles available thanks to the performances of Jay Harris (flyweight), Liam Davies (super-bantamweight), and Sheffield-based Cameroonian Thomas Essomba (bantamweight). Meanwhile, Gavin Gwynne (lightweight) and Tyler Denny (middleweight) will both be eyeing European title fights this year, and Lauren Parker (female super-flyweight), Rhiannon Dixon (female lightweight) and Dee Allen (female welterweight) have title challenges of their own locked in during the remainder of 2023.