Adam Azim’s next fight will be unusual. Not only is he headlining, a rare feat for a professional prospect going into just their seventh pro bout, but the show at Alexandra Palace is taking place in the afternoon.
The action on the televised show begins at 3pm today. Download the Sky Sports app to take part in the Viewers’ Verdict experience and score the fights yourself.
Azim expects it to be a family-friendly occasion. He wants to inspire young people in the way Amir Khan and Naseem Hamed inspired him when he was a child.
That is what got him started in the sport. Now, just 20-years-old, the rising star from Slough has a very bright future ahead of him.
“A lot of kids are coming up to me, they know who I am. It’s good because I’m inspiring the young generation. It’s like me looking up to Amir Khan when I was a young kid and now a lot of people are looking up to me. It means a lot,” he said.
“I want to entertain them, I want them to get inspired by me as well.”
Hamed is also one of the icons he models himself on. Azim embraces showmanship, celebrating his wins with a backflip and bringing in those elements of entertainment.
“Prince Naseem is definitely one of the fighters I love, the way he throws his combinations together at different angles, and knocking these people out with single shots. Now Amir Khan’s got blistering hand speed, Naseem has got power, and he’s got charisma and entertainment,” Azim said.
“I’ve believe I’ve got two, I’ve got the speed and power, I’ve got the entertainment business outside the ring as well, which is good.”
But Azim is still only in the early stages of his career. He can’t risk looking too far ahead. “I’m not arrogant, I’m there to do my job in the ring and enjoy it and entertain the fans,” he said.
“Throughout my boxing career I’ve never let anything get to my head. I’ve always been a normal boy. I’m not there yet. Even right now I’m not there yet. I’m good but I’m not very good yet.
“When I become world champion that’s when I’ll say I’m very good.”
Azim is being fast-tracked but world title fights still remain a long way off. He is developing and Charlton has the potential to offer a stern examination of those aspirations.
“I know for a fact that I’ve got a defence, I’ve got a very, very good defence,” Azim insisted. “You guys haven’t seen that yet but eventually you guys will see it.
“He’s fought hard fights, he’s fought good fights as well,” he said of Charlton. “He likes to talk a lot, that’s his game to get into someone’s head. With me I just stay focused, stay grounded.”
Azim’s last opponent, Michel Cabral was also meant to give him rounds. However once Azim connected with his power punches, he ended it inside the first round. In the same way in this bout with Charlton, he cannot rule out another sudden finish.
“I didn’t mean to go in that ring and try to knock him out. I boxed and knockouts come,” Azim said.
“You guys will see what kind of fighter I am. You guys are going to be shocked at what you’re going to see in the ring.”
Watch the Adam Azim vs Rylan Charlton show from 3pm this afternoon, live on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Arena or Sky Showcase.