Middleweight Sam Sheedy, 17-2 (4), is set to gate-crash the world scene, with news that promoter Dennis Hobson has secured a shot at the vacant Commonwealth crown for the Sheffield fighter.
Southpaw Sheedy will face Nigerian national champion Abolaji Rasheed on March 18th at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena and, after watching Sheedy lose competitively against Tommy Langford for British honours in November, Hobson is convinced more than ever that the tricky fighter has the potential to be world class.
“After Sam got beat by Tommy Langford, we wanted to keep him competing at that level because, although it was a loss, we feel his stock has gone up. He was unlucky against Tommy, so we’ve pushed for him down the Commonwealth route and have managed to get him a shot against Rasheed for the vacant title on what will be a terrific night of boxing in Sheffield.”
Hobson, who has worked with a number of world champions over the years, has a proven track record of securing world title fights for Commonwealth belt holders, most recently with Darlington’s Stuart Hall and County Durham’s Martin Ward. After bagging home advantage for his fighter against Rasheed, 8-2-1 (4), Hobson says there are huge fights out there for ‘Speedy’ if he can make the most of this golden opportunity.
“This Commonwealth title shot is a real bonus for Sam after that Loss to Tommy, and it shows again that we’re capable of moving kids into significant title shots if they have the ability. This time, we’re hoping Sam gets the result he deserves and then moves onto the world scene.
“Sam had everything in his locker against Tommy, and Langford didn’t have an answer to him. All that Tommy had was his work rate, which I do respect, and Tommy definitely has a winner’s mentality. Ability-wise though, Sam looked a level above him. So, I still believe Sam is capable of doing things at world level. He’s done the 12 rounds now too, so he knows he can do that and it won’t be at the back of his mind anymore.
“I got both Stuart Hall and Martin Ward world title shots off the back of their Commonwealth titles. So from the platform of Commonwealth champion, and obviously Sam would have to win it first, there are some very big fights out there for him. He needs to get the belt first and then we’d invite all-comers on, including Adam Etches who is rated in the top ten by the IBF but, in my opinion, Sam is a level above him.”
“We’re just getting back on track really with Sam,” explained AJ Hobson, who manages Sheedy alongside his uncle Dennis, and trainer Glyn Rhodes. “We were hoping to fight for the Commonwealth title before the Langford fight, and successfully fought a final eliminator for it. In the meantime, we were offered a shot at the British title so obviously had to take that. By choice, we probably wouldn’t have gone that route straight away because that was Sam’s first 12 round fight. We wanted to win the Commonwealth, do 10 rounds, and then build him up. So, this is really us just getting back on track.
“Everyone saw how close the fight was against Tommy Langford and know now that Sam is the real deal. Langford is now a mandatory for Billy Joe Saunders and his world title, so that shows the level that Sam is at. So, it’s back to the original plan and we’re thrilled to get straight back into this Commonwealth title fight. He has to win the fight, and any fighter from Africa is a threat. Rasheed is the Nigerian champion, so we won’t be underestimating him but I’m confident Sam will do the job.”