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Adam Azim, Harlem Eubank In Advanced Talks For June Meeting


Adam Azim (Left) and Harlem Eubank Meet At The O2 In London To Reveal Targeted June Clash.

A promise was kept with an update on Adam Azim’s next fight versus a fellow unbeaten Brit.

It just wasn’t the move that was expected. Or perhaps, it was.

BOXXER revealed on Sunday that Azim is now in advanced talks for a showdown with Harlem Eubank. Their all-British clash between undefeated 140-pounders is targeted to take place sometime in June.

Both boxers shared the ring on Sunday during the Fabio Wardley-Frazer Clarke headlined Sky Sports/Peacock show at London’s The O2. Azim (11-0, 8 knockouts) was accompanied by manager and Hall of Fame former featherweight champion Barry McGuigan. Eubank (19-0, 8 KOs) was accompanied by uncle and former two-division titlist Chris Eubank Sr.

“I’m ready,” Azim insisted during the in-ring interview. “This is what I wanted. He may be a Eubank, but I’m an Azim.

“It’s going to be an Azim takeover.”

What the bout may not represent, however, is an extension of Azim’s European (EBU) title reign.

A purse bid hearing is due to take place Wednesday to determine promotional rights for Azim’s ordered title defense versus Dalton Smith (16-0, 12 KOs). Azim and Smith were also ordered to meet for the British junior welterweight title.

The purse bid process was delayed to allow time for Smith’s already scheduled March 23 date with former title challenger Jose Zepeda.

Smith won via fifth-round knockout at Utilita Arena in his Sheffield hometown. The immediate post-fight talk zeroed in on this very matchup.

“I don’t call many names out,” noted Smith, right before he broke that rule. “But I got one name. Adam Azim, where are you at?

“There’s one reason Adam hasn’t vacated that title. It’s because he thought I was gonna lose. But you know what? I bet he vacates now.”

It would seemingly the case if Azim and Eubank move forward with their clash, unless Smith willingly stands down.

Azim won the European title in a tenth-round stoppage over Franck Petitjean last November 18 in Wolverhampton. The Shane McGuigan-trained boxer defended the belt in a fifth-round stoppage of unbeaten Enock Poulsen on February 3 at OVO Arena Wembley.

Both fighters have enjoyed their share of fanfare. However, Azim is a potential contender on the rise while Eubank’s noteriety has come more through familial bloodlines.

This particular matchup will represent a significant step-up in class for Eubank. He has not fought since a November 10 tenth-round stoppage of Germany’s Timo Schwarzkopf in his Brighton hometown.

Still, Eubank is the one who is unconvinced that Azim was eager for this fight, either. The 30-year-old Brighton native insisted that Azim’s hand was being forced in the matter.

“I don’t believe he wants it,” said Eubank. “His team clearly want it; his team are clearly excited but I know he doesn’t want it.”

Once finalized, the bout is expected to land on a big BOXXER show eyed for June 15. WBO cruiserweight titlist and Ring No. 2-rated Chris Billam-Smith (19-1, 13 KOs will defend versus unbeaten countryman Richard Riakporhe (17-0, 13 KOs), No. 5 at 200. Another targeted bout is Joshua Buatsi-Anthony Yarde in an all-UK light heavyweight battle.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Follow @JakeNDaBox

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