Ben Shalom has backed Adam Azim and Ben Whittaker to ‘take the flag’ from Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury and become British boxing’s next big stars. Both fighters – represented by Shalom’s BOXXER promotion – are in the fledgling stages of their careers and haven’t put a foot wrong in the pros so far.
Azim (6-0) scored his fifth stoppage victory last weekend when he quickly dispatched of Argentina’s Michel Cabral on the Liam Smith vs Hassan Mwakinyo undercard in Liverpool. The 20-year-old super-lightweight has dominated every man that has been put in front of him, prompting many to tout Azim as one to watch for the future.
Whittaker (2-0) is even earlier in his professional boxing career but has an outstanding amateur pedigree behind him. The Surgeon won the silver medal in the light-heavyweight division at the Tokyo Games and holds big wins over youth Olympic champion Keno Machado, and Russian stand-out Imam Khataev. Under the watchful eye of SugarHill Steward, the 25-year-old is expected to do big things and has the style and charisma to make it happen.
“There’s definitely going to be a few superstars, but when you say transcend the sport, I think the obvious ones are Adam Azim and Ben Whittaker,” Shalom told Express Sport when asked who he thinks will step into the limelight once Joshua and Fury eventually walk away.
Both men are yet to be matched for their next contests but are expected to be moved at a gradual rate. Azim recently stated that he wants to target a fight with George Kambosos Jr before the end of next year but will likely do battle with British champion Dalton Smith in a domestic dust-up to decide who the country’s top super-lightweight is before then.