Hamzah Sheeraz aiming for the top following US training switch
HAMZAH SHEERAZ has moved his training base to California and insists: “I now know that I belong at the top.”
The WBO European Super-Welterweight champion is training under experienced Ricky Funez at the Ten Goose gym in Los Angeles.
Sheeraz (12-0, 8 KOs) switched to his new base two months ago and believes the results will show when he returns to action this Summer.
The Ilford man said: “If I came here and got my arse kicked in sparring I would have come home and not wasted time and money.
“The sparring whether it’s in our gym, going to the Wild Card or Justin Fortune’s gym is great. I have been sparring Olympians, Mexicans, South Americans and Cubans.
“It’s good to get a taste of all the styles because you know where you are at.
“I know for sure that I belong at the top after sparring here. It’s now about making the right adjustments and moves at the right time.
“In terms of training over here it is how you are outside as well as inside the ring.
“It’s not like I’m a wild child. I’m well behaved, but watching boxing, living it and breathing it is all I do out here.
“So many people come in and out the gym like the Ruelas brothers and I pick up a bit of knowledge from everyone.
“It takes a few camps for massive changes, but I’ve been learning a hell of a lot especially when it comes to work rate.”
Honduran born Funez learned the boxing business under Dan and Joe Goossen and worked with some of the sport’s biggest names.
That list includes the late Diego Corrales, Shane Mosley, Azumah Nelson, Michael Nunn, Gabe Ruelas, Rafael Ruelas, James Toney and Israel Vazquez.
Hamzah who is world ranked number 13 by the WBO for Brian Castano’s world title set out to chase the American dream after meeting with Funez in London in 2019.
Sheeraz explained: “Before my fight with Ryan Kelly, Ricky was around as he had a YouTuber fighting on a charity event.
“I was asked to do a session with him so I could get a taste of what it was like working with an American coach and didn’t think anything of it.
“I thought I’d do the session and crack on with my day. Ever since then I have always wanted to come to America.
“At the time I didn’t have the funds and sponsorship in place, but got that thanks to my sponsors in Dubai.
“That allowed me to come over here and once we got the funds I made the move straight away. I am fully based here training wise with Ricky.
“It is pure camp life and I’m usually too tired to do much when I have time so it is Netflix and rest. It isn’t boring because I am enjoying it.
“I have given up so much. Unfortunately, my Uncle passed away and I had to miss his funeral, my birthday and a couple Religious festivals.
“I have been away for what seems so long that whoever is in the ring with me has to pay for it.
“We plan to fly back into the UK soon and allow plenty of time to get used to the eight hours time difference before the fight.”
There are plenty who expect Hamzah to reach the top, but before then he is involved in a thriving domestic scene.
A showdown with Queensberry stablemate Troy Williamson has been discussed but his rival is next in line to challenge British champion Ted Cheeseman.
.Hamzah added: “I have never set out to go out and win a British title, but if the opportunity came I wouldn’t knock it down.
“Whatever route Frank Warren and my manager Andy Ayling chooses I’ll go with. I will get in with whoever is in my way.”