Hamed's chance to dispel doubts
Saturday 31 August 1996
As Hamed approaches his third defence of the World Boxing Organisation featherweight title, his cage has clearly been rattled by those who have dared suggest he might not attain the legendary status.
There have always been doubters, those who believe that, in Hamed, substance might be secondary to style, that a real fighter would expose the 22-year- old boy wonder from Sheffield. But the whispers gave way to screaming when Hamed found himself on the floor in the first round against Puerto Rico's Daniel Alicea in June.
That Hamed went on to knock out his previously undefeated mandatory challenger in the following round made no difference: a chink in the brash youngster's armour had been revealed.
"I wasn't up to my normal standard in the first round," Hamed said. "There wasn't the fire in my belly that I normally have. But that knock-down brought it back.''
The rumours persisted that success and celebrity had softened Hamed, that the talent he believes comes from Allah was no longer being nurtured in the gym, that Hamed's increasing fame had left him too busy to train for fights.
His trainer and mentor, Brendan Ingle, gives credence to this allegation: "Naz was only training once a day and when we got closer to the fight, he was trying to cram his training in order to catch up. But for this fight, he's been training twice a day. He's in tremendous shape."
And Hamed will need to be. The Mexican is vastly experienced compared to the champion, with 52 wins from 59 fights as opposed to Hamed's undefeated 22-0 - with 20 KOs. Medina has also held two verstions of the world title, the last as recently as eight months ago.
Regular cast member Ste Hay, played by Kieron Richardson, is about to test TV boundaries
Latest in Sport
Daniel Sturridge injury latest: Brendan Rodgers ready to buy a striker as setback rocks Liverpool
Amir Khan exclusive: 'Manny Pacquiao has been beaten in his last few fights, beating Floyd Mayweather would be massive'
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet
Jack Wilshere ready to be the heartbeat of Roy Hodgson’s new England era
Chelsea vs West Brom: Chelsea fans expect strong response to Jose Mourinho's 'empty stadium' jibe at Stamford Bridge this weekend
- 1 Lee Evans announces retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 2 Pirelli calendar 2015: The problem with 'plus-size' models like Candice Huffine
- 3 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
G20 summit: Enter Putin. Accompanied by four warships. To the sound of mockery
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
David Cameron 'compares Vladimir Putin’s Russia to Nazi Germany' ahead of tense meeting
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...
Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...
£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...