Hamed to keep up the psychology

Boxing
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The Independent Online
Boxing

Naseem Hamed insisted yesterday that there would be no let-up in the psychological assault directed at opponents barring his way to becoming a multi-world champion.

Hamed rejected criticism that he taunted and humiliated Steve Robinson before relieving the Welshman of the World Organisation featherweight title a fortnight ago.

The 21-year-old, who makes his first defence at London Arena on 9 December, declared: "I out-thought him, outboxed him and outpunched him. I did it in style, just as I said I would. There wasn't a mark on my face at the end. What do I have to do to get the credit I deserve?"

Frank Warren, the promoter, said Hamed was spat at, struck by coins and suffered racial and personal abuse. "Throughout it all, Hamed maintained his cool. You say he humiliated Robinson. We say he did him mentally and physically. Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard were praised for that sort of thing," Warren claimed.

Warren is talking to three possible first-defence opponents and expects to finalise negotiations for an announcement next Tuesday. He revealed that it is becoming difficult to find suitable matches, but hopes for a unification fight against one of the other champions early next year. That could be Ghana's Alfred Kotey, who defends the WBO bantamweight title at London's York Hall a week tomorrow.

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