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Adam Azim Vacates European Title In Favor OF Harlem Eubank Fight Over Dalton Smith Challenge

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Adam Azim has relinquished his European super lightweight title after being mandated to face Dalton Smith.

The two English contenders had been on a collision course after the EBU ordered Azim to defend against Smith and the British Boxing Board of Control summoned Azim to challenge Smith for his Lonsdale Belt.

Sheffield’s Smith is 16-0 (12 KOs), trained by his father Grant Smith, and is coming off a career-best win over Jose Zepeda for the WBC silver title last month.

Azim is 11-0 (8 KOs), works with Shane McGuigan, and last boxed in February, scoring a fifth-round stoppage of Enock Poulsen, who suffered a shoulder injury and could not go on beyond the fifth.

After Smith defeated Zepeda with a superb body shot, promoter Eddie Hearn said he dared Azim to face Smith. This morning, Hearn has been informed by the EBO that Azim is set to relinquish his belt and go in another direction.

On Sunday night at London’s O2, Boxxer who promote Azim, had the Slough prospect go head-to-head with Harlem Eubank to promote a future contest.

“Adam Azim has ducked Dalton Smith,” Hearn told the Matchroom Boxing channel. “We had the official notice today from the EBU that he’s relinquishing his belt. And you can try to dress it up with the fights that haven’t been made yet, and other fights that can be made. 

“One minute Adam’s only 21 and Dalton’s 27 – but Harlem Eubank’s 30. The whole thing’s a load of b****** really. The fact is, you’re not good enough to fight Dalton Smith. You know you can’t beat Dalton Smith. It’s absolutely fine. 

“You can sugar-coat what you want. Adam Azim has ducked Dalton Smith.”

Last month, trainer McGuigan said Azim-Smith was unlikely, and that the fighters would go in different directions for the time-being.

“Of course that’s a fight we’re interested in, for sure,” McGuigan told BoxingScene. “I just know that the numbers that have been put out and I think Harlem Eubank vs. Adam Azim, with [Chris] Eubank Sr. being part of the build-up, that’s just what boxing’s about at the moment. I think it would draw a lot of attention, and now the only attention that’s going to be drawn to that fight [Azim-Smith] is Eddie Hearn trying to mug off Adam Azim, because Dalton’s a nice lad, very respectful. 

“It’s a great, competitive fight, it’s just they’re on different platforms… I just don’t think it’s the right timing.”   

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