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NYF Prospect Watch: Hamza Uddin, Flyweight With Matchroom

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NYF Prospect Watch: Hamza Uddin, Flyweight With Matchroom
Photos from HU social media, Khan IG

Hamza Uddin is a British Bangladeshi born and raised in Walsall, West Midlands, England, and one to put on your watch list.

He’s been boxing since the age of five and comes from a fighting family with his father, his current trainer, having previously been a kickboxer.

Younger brother Yusuf Uddin also an amateur at present, competing at flyweight, too.

Hamza Uddin Signs Up For Pro Debut

Hamza, 63-4 as an amateur, has signed to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing and will fight on streaming giant DAZN.

Hamza Uddin is managed by Sam Jones, best known for managing top super lightweight contender Jack Catterall and an array of upcoming prospects up and down the country.

Hamza Uddin in action

You can see the kid has a flair about him, yes? Hamza Uddin will debut on a Matchroom card in the not too distant future

Hamza’s amateur accolades are listed below:

– Team GB (Olympic squad) member
– Eight-time national champion
– Three-time GB champion
– Seven-time international gold medallist
– Youngest ever two-time senior elite national champion
– Undefeated senior
– ⁠Ten-time Regional Champion
– ⁠Turns professional as Britain’s number one ranked Flyweight amateur

As his amateur record suggests, Hamza Uddin is entering the professional ranks at flyweight with plenty of hype and the weight of expectation on his shoulders.

He looks to make his professional debut in early 2024 and has set himself the goal of becoming the first ever British Bangladeshi World Champion.

That feat that would add him to the history books in British boxing and world boxing as well as open the door for the next generation of boxers sharing his heritage.

AMIR KHAN AN ATG

That would be similar to the effect that 2004 Olympic silver medallist and former unified WBA Super and IBF super lightweight world champion Amir Khan has had on boxers of Pakistani descent.

Amir Khan, Hall of Famer

Amir Khan is a role model, how he handled business. Khan also treated media generally with decency and respect, he is a NYF fave, if we’re being honest.

We talked with Hamza Uddin about his past, the hopes and dreams to be realized in the future, and the exciting present.

SA: What led you to start boxing as a child and how much of a factor was your dad’s kickboxing career?

HU: I remember as a young child that my dad’s gloves would always be laying around and I would just end up putting them on and throwing punches.

That was the origin of my story in terms of boxing but I was also a very energetic kid, so I needed something to put my energy towards.

I started going to the gym more and more to the point where I felt like I knew that I wanted to make this my career one day in the future and praise be to God, here I am now having officially turned professional, said Hamza Uddin.

SA: There has clearly been a lot of hard work and sacrifice on your part as well as on your family’s part in getting you to where you are now entering the paid ranks.

I would be keen to know what your earliest memories are of actually watching the sport of boxing and what drew you in outside of your dad’s career.

Hamza Uddin: I remember watching VHS tapes of my dad’s old fights as well as tapes of Amir Khan in particular.

Some kids grew up watching things like Spongebob Squarepants on their televisions but I grew up with boxing constantly on mine.

It’s just how it was at home, I was raised around the sport and that hasn’t changed even now, I love it more now than ever!

A budding star

Nice stance

SA: The first name you mentioned there was Amir Khan. How influential has Amir Khan been for people from a South East Asian background?

Someone who you can look at and relate to on a number of levels showing that it is possible to reach the highest peaks in the sport?

HU: Amir Khan has been an inspiration for all South East Asian boxers coming through, whether as an amateur or as a professional.

He managed to win multiple titles in both the amateurs and professional ranks so it gives us all something to aspire to and proves it is definitely not impossible to aim for similar levels of success ourselves.

He set the tone for people of our background and now there are so many talented young fighters coming through, he set the standard for us but its now on us to take it to the next level and build on his success for future generations.

I may not be in the position I am without Amir Khan so a lot of credit must be given to him for his career and the long-lasting impact he has had on the South East Asian community in sport in general.

Amir Khan, Dana White

Fight sports are in a transition phase, with various behemoths rising. It’s an interesting world, with Saudi Arabia being a focal point

SA: Talk to me a little bit about your time as an amateur, Hamza Uddin, how you found the overall experience.

Also, how this will benefit you in the professional ranks as we’re often told it is a completely different world when transitioning over – how do you think your fighting style will adjust?

HU: I have accomplished so much as an amateur boxer that I sometimes forget when listing them all!

The things I have won are definitely not something to laugh and joke about, they’re serious titles and a lot of hard work, dedication and blood, sweat and tears went into wining each and every single one of them.

What I would say is that competing at the lower weights is a competition in and of itself as it’s hard to prepare as there is not enough top-quality sparring outside of the really ‘elite’ level guys.

So, chances are that the guys you end up drawing in tournaments you will have sparred at some point or another which is not ideal at all.

With our weight its all about being fast, nimble and evasive, it’s all about your timing and reflexes – anticipation as well.

I train extremely hard and I know I want it more than anyone else and that’s what I feel ultimately separates me from the rest.

SA: You’d mentioned off camera that you will be starting your professional career at Flyweight, the same division in which you had boxed as an amateur.

This weight class has seen so many great fighters in recent times, such as Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and ‘El Gallo’ Juan Francisco Estrada at the truly pound for pound level of the sport.

Even as recently as two weeks ago we saw a brilliant WBO and IBF Flyweight world championship unification bout Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez and Sunny Edwards.

What were your thoughts on the fight, Hamza Uddin, and the event really giving the spotlight to ‘the little guys’?

Hamza Uddin: Yes, I will be starting my journey at Flyweight, to be honest I make it quite easily so I could even go to light Flyweight but its not in the plans at the moment.

I believe I am comfortable at Flyweight and will be at my strongest at this point at that weight.

I am massive for the weight class as well so its definitely worth aiming to win world titles at Flyweight before looking to move weights classes.

Credit has to be given to both Rodriguez and Edwards for giving us an exciting matchup while it lasted and topping the bill as two Flyweights in a world title unification is a big deal to me personally, even though I had nothing to do with it…

It puts more eyes on our weight division which is great for all of us and that’s what its all about, putting the shine on the little guys.

Bam was really good, he’s even better than I thought he was and Sunny showed real grit and heart fighting through his eye injury, hats off to them both.

SA: You have mentioned people compared you to ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed in terms of your style in the amateurs with your reflexes and timing.

Out of todays’ current crop of truly elite boxers, Hamza Uddin, who would you say you are most inspired by and who do you look at and really think ‘damn, he is really good’?

Hamza Uddin:  I would have to say Terence Crawford.

If he didn’t already have my respect for all that he’s accomplished in the sport of boxing then he certainly had it after I witnessed what he did to Errol Spence.

Going in, I genuinely thought that was a real 50/50 fight but he broke him down with his jab being used as a power punch over and over again and his superior ring IQ and that’s what impressed me the most.

Me myself, I hit hard and I know I have power but I’m known for my ring IQ and the little in fight adjustments that I make.

To see what Crawford was doing – from the slight changes in range, the glove placement to parry shots and just showing that he wasn’t going to be bullied, it was just really, really impressive to witness.

He has really been an inspiration to me, someone who works you out and breaks you down with his IQ but ultimately, he will take you out.

SA: Since we’re literally at the end of the year with today being new years eve, Hamza Uddin, wrap it up with your fighter of the year firstly and secondly, your performance of the year for 2023 which has been one of the best years in modern boxing history.

HU: I think Inoue and Crawford have been getting the most mentions for fighter of the year and as a little guy I need to support my fellow little guy in Naoya Inoue, 378 days and becoming undisputed in two weight classes back-to-back in such dominant fashion is just unheard of.

I would love to get in the ring with Inoue one day too, what a fighter.
—Hamza Uddin

Performance of the year has to go to Terence Crawford simply because of how dominant he was against such a great fighter like Spence who was unified champion and undefeated, let’s not forget those two things.

He put on an all time great beatdown on the biggest stage, thoroughly outclassed him and broke him down from start to finish.

So, for me Naoya Inoue gets fighter of the year for 2023 and Terence Crawford gets performance of the year 2023.

I reached out to Hamza’s manager, Sam Jones for some comments on his expectations and plans for Hamza’s professional career –

SJ: I have followed Hamza’s journey for years, watching him grow from strength to strength in the amateurs. I am incredibly excited about what he is going to achieve moving forward as he is big enough to make a run through numerous weight classes.

Not only is his movement incredible, his power is genuinely frightening.

Me, I am expecting Hamza Uddin to become a world champion within 10 professional bouts. The Bengal tiger will make his debut early in Spring 2024, keep your eyes peeled.