Adam Azim, the new European champion, has hit back at mandatory challenger Enock Poulsen.
Poulsen, an undefeated super-lightweight from Denmark, used to hold the EBU title which Azim won on Saturday. He insists he will recapture the belt from the Briton.
But after taking out Franck Petitjean to win the championship, Azim has dismissed Poulsen’s claim.
“He fought Petitjean and he didn’t stop him and it was a bit of a closer fight. With me I stopped him and it shows my level as well,” the Slough fighter told Sky Sports. “I’m up there at world level.
“I’ve got the stoppage, it shows him as well that I’m a threat.”
Azim did make a statement with the brutal display he delivered over 10 rounds to halt Petitjean and relieve the Frenchman of the European title.
“His manager came up to me and said he said: ‘He’s the fastest and most powerful guy I’ve ever fought’ and I’m the only guy to stop him in nine years,” the 21-year-old explained.
An excellent body shot initially dropped Petitjean in the fifth round. “I didn’t throw it hard. It just naturally went,” Azim said.
The Frenchman managed to continue for five more rounds though. “He’s got some toughness,” the Briton said.
“What I did wrong was I rushed my stoppage, I tried to get the stoppage so early. I stood my ground. I knew the stoppage was coming, I knew it was probably going to come in nine or 10. I was breaking him down and it was like a big beatdown as well.
“[At the finish] I threw an uppercut and he just went down. I think he felt the power, the speed and he knew it was a beatdown. So it was good,” he added.
“I wanted to win it by knockout and I did that.”
‘Slough first. Las Vegas can wait’
Azim has won a significant championship at a young age. Collecting that belt in just his 10th pro bout also makes him the fastest English fighter to win that title.
“It feels so great. It’s a big massive moment for me and my family. Big up to Spencer Oliver [who won the European in 11 bouts], he held the title for years and he was so happy that I won the title myself,” Azim said.
It sets him up for a big 2024. But before chasing world titles and major fights in America, he wants to headline in his hometown stadium.
“Definitely Slough football club, definitely that,” he said of his future targets. “There’s never been a boxing match there, so it would be good.
“Slough first. Las Vegas can wait, I don’t care how long that will take, but Slough first.”