Sam Sheedy, 18-2 (4), is the new Commonwealth middleweight king after coming through a gruelling contest against Nigeria’s Abolaji Rasheed. The Nigerian, champion of his country, proved an extremely tough opponent, giving ‘Speedy’ Sheedy all he could handle over the 12-round duration.
Rasheed, 8-3-1 (4), didn’t appear to have a reverse gear and from the opening bell came forward and threw shots at the local man, even shaking Sheedy up in the eighth. Sam proved his quality though, particularly in the later rounds when he elected to use his noted boxing skills, and picked up 117-112, 116-113 and 117-112 scorecards from the judges to take the vacant belt.
“I think because Rasheed weighed in lighter than Sam, he thought he was going to bully him,” explained promoter Dennis Hobson; who manages Sheedy alongside his nephew AJ Hobson, and trainer Glyn Rhodes. “He was a very tough African though, and it was a big opportunity for him to get himself more financially secure. Sam came straight out and threw a backhand and his intention was to get Rasheed out of there early. He fought the fight back to front, and the last three rounds was when he was moving and jabbing. Sam got countered a few times, and got caught badly in the eighth.
“In summary, the other guy was better than expected, and Sam didn’t box the right fight. From the first bell, he let Rasheed into it because he was loading up when he should have boxed him. The most important thing is though that he won and has got the title. The Commonwealth middleweight title is a platform that will lead onto bigger things, and there are big fights out there domestically, so we can now plot Sam’s path. Sam will have learnt from the experience, like he did in the Tommy Langford fight. He made one or two mistakes and, as you step up a level, you can’t get complacent. We’ll sit down and all have a chat about what we thought was wrong, but the positives are that he clearly won the fight, and has the belt.
“I think we’ll maybe make a couple of defences of this title, and we’ll also see what movement there is on the international scene and see if we can add a belt or two. So, consolidate and make a defence, and we’ll then have a look around for openings when the time is right. This belt gives us a platform, it gives us something to work with, and that’s the main thing. It gives me a chance to think about how I can create a bit of magic. You can have all the ability but if you haven’t got the team around you that can get you the openings then you’ll struggle. Sam’s got that, and we can create something now with this title.”