Boxing: Hamed to fight again after absence of two years

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The Independent Online

Naseem Hamed will end a two-year exile from the ring and fight again this summer.

Hamed, 30, last fought in May 2002 when he attracted a crowd of 12,000 for a dull fight against Spain's Manuel Calvo, and all plans to fight in November of that year were postponed when he was booed from the ring.

The Sheffield fighter has instructed his advisors to put together a camp in May with specific requirements for sparring partners that will help the former featherweight World Champion to prepare fully for a return in July or August.

It was 10 years ago this Friday that Hamed first fought in a main event on ITV, attracting an audience of over six million. He lost his unbeaten record in 2001 to Mexico's Marco Antonio Barrera in Las Vegas, and has made £35m from his 37 fights.

It is thought that Hamed will meet Manchester's Michael Brodie in November if Brodie can beat Korea's Injin Chi on Saturday at the MEN Arena for the World Boxing Council featherweight title.

Hamed was one of British boxing's biggest stars during the Nineties and often attracted record viewing figures on Sky but it is unknown yet which broadcaster in Britain will screen his future fights.

During the last two months there have been increased rumours that ITV, once the sport's most successful broadcaster, is keen to return and if that is the case, Hamed would be ideal for them.

When Hamed last fought he was promoted by Barry Hearn and the boxer's brother Riath, and in theory the duo would once again be in charge of his career. But there is a possibility that an American promoter with links to the Cable broadcaster HBO could also be involved.

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