Boxing: Sheffield taxi driver has more than a ‘fare’ chance of winning title

Uzair Najib in action
Uzair Najib in action

Uzair Najib expects to win his first title after testing himself against the man who headlines his Sheffield show on Saturday.

The Park Hill super bantam contests the Central Area title with Burngreave’s Muheeb Fazeldin at the Octagon.

They have similar records: Najib has won all five of his fights, Fazeldin has won five drawn one.

But Najib, a taxi driver, thinks his preparation, skills and heart will ensure he wins. The 23-year-old recently sparred with Ross Burkinshaw, the bamtamweight who competes for the WBO European title, on the Octagon bill they share.

“It was a tough eight round spar - it was good for both of us” said Najib. “I’ve never been past four rounds while he has won English and Commonwealth titles so it was great to spar against him. He knows when to hold on, how to win a round and what to do to make sure you win the fight. He is in great shape and ready to win - so am I.”

Najib, a fan of Kid Galahad and Carl Frampton, insists he is a more exciting fighter than Fazeldin, whose nickname is Flashy. “I have a come-forward style while he is going to mess about for ten rounds, play about, run about..if I let him. Hopefully I’m going to stop him, I don’t see him lasting.”

Najib joined Dave Coldwell’s former gym in Park Hill when he was nine years old. “When Dave moved to Rotherham I stopped boxing until I was 16 when I began training with Keith Palmer at Lane Top. We have more than a boxer-trainer relationship, he is like family. He would never let me take part in a fight which he thought I’d get hurt in. He, like me, is confident I will win this. I have seen Fazeldin twice, I don’t think much about him, he’s nothing special and certainly beatable.”

n Coldwell is plotting a successful future for his Connah Quay’s fighter, Tom Doran, who won Prizefighter middleweight TV tournament on Saturday scooping £32,000.

“It was a great night for everyone involved in Tom’s career and this is the springboard that will help his career so much. This could be the making of him” he said.

“Wales has a superb history in the fight game and it has has given British boxing plenty of great nights so here’s hoping that Tom can be a star that his country can get behind.”

Doran’s excellent showing will no doubt propel him up the domestic rankings and with the British middleweight scene stacked with talent, Coldwell will be relishing testing his latest success story in the higher echelons of the 160lbs division. Already plotting Doran’s next move, Coldwell is excited by the youngster’s future.

“I won’t rush any decision regarding Tom but I’m looking forward to having a good a sit down with him and decide what we’re going to do next. He’s made a really good name for himself and I’m sure that this is just the beginning for him.

“The middleweight scene in Britain is right up there as one of the most competitive weight divisions domestically so there’s a ton of potential match ups that we can make for Tom.

“He’s an ambitious lad who wants to win titles and we’ll be trying our best to deliver him those shots. He came of age last night and now is the time for him to go out there again and add further honours to his collection.”

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