Hamzah Sheeraz relishing chance to beat Dmytro Mytrofanov ‘in his backyard’
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Middleweight contender Hamzah Sheeraz believes fighting in Dmytro Mytrofanov’s “lion’s den” in Poland will make victory even sweeter when the pair face off on Saturday night.
Sheeraz has the chance to extend his unbeaten 17-0-0 record against former Olympian Mytrofanov (13-0-1) as part of the undercard to Oleksandr Usyk and Daniel Dubois’ heavyweight bout.
The London fighter acknowledged his opponent’s quality but remains confident he is stronger in every department ahead of their hotly-contested clash.
“It’s going to be my toughest fight to date, but with the sparring and training I’ve been doing I’m confident in my ability,” Sheeraz told the PA news agency.
“It’s in his backyard and I’m walking into the lion’s den and that’s something I’m going to thrive off, it’s going to make victory that little bit more sweet.
“He’s been to the Olympics, he’s got a good amateur pedigree, he’s undefeated, he’s had a few knockouts and knows his way around the ring, so it will be a good test for me.
“In every department I am that bit better than him – close fighting, long-range fighting. The only thing he’s banking on is that he’s never been stopped or hurt in the amateurs, but when you get in there with someone who can whack a bit it’s a bit of a different story, and so when I fire shots and land we’ll see what happens.”
Sheeraz boasts an impressive record of 11 straight fights since 2018 where he has stopped or retired his opponent.
But the 24-year-old insisted he is ready to go the distance if required, adding: “All of these fights which I’ve won by knockout I was prepared to go the distance and as a pro fighter and future elite fighter, that’s what you are ready to do.
All of these fights which I’ve won by knockout I was prepared to go the distance and as a pro fighter and future elite fighter that’s what you’re ready to do.
“The knockouts come naturally and I haven’t not had one for a few years now and long may it continue.”
Sheeraz is relishing the opportunity to gain exposure through fighting on a big card and backed fellow Brit Dubois to claim heavyweight glory against WBO, IBF and WBA king Usyk.
“It’s a great undercard to be on, someone like Usyk, I aspire to get to his level,” Sheeraz said.
“Even though I’m focusing solely on my fight, the cameras, the interviews and going over to Poland, getting that different bit of exposure on that eastern block of Europe, it will be good for me and I’m looking forward to it.
“In terms of boxing and what it actually is, he’s an elite heavyweight and he has a puncher’s chance, so all he’s got to do is land his shot and once he lands his shot – such as a right hand – it could be over (a Dubois win).
“It’s definitely a tough ask, but it’s not an impossible one.”
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