Hamed's return confirmed

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The Independent Online
Boxing

Frank Warren unveiled another big Glasgow fight night yesterday and then announced he had no qualms after his last Scottish promotion, which ended in the death of James Murray and a ringside riot.

Naseem Hamed will defend his World Organisation featherweight championship against the Austria-based Nigerian Said Lawal at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on Saturday 16 March. Hamed has been out of the ring for six months with a hand injury since claiming the title from Steve Robinson.

The Sheffield fighter predicted Lawal, who has never been stopped, will last just two rounds and claimed that he "feels no pressure about becoming a legend". Warren and his joint promoter, Katherine Morrison, are confident there will be no repeat of the shameful scenes which accompanied the end of the contest between Murray and Drew Docherty in October.

The Hamed evening is Warren and Morrison's first promotion since the Murray fight at a Glasgow hotel.

"Our thoughts are always with the families of boxers who have suffered tragedies and will be on the night," Warren said.

"As far as the crowd disturbances are concerned, I think that night was a complete one-off. There will be extensive security arrangements at the SECC and we have never had any problems at any of our open shows. What happened that night at a dinner show was totally unexpected, but I have no nervousness about another visit to Glasgow."

Hamed, who celebrated his 22nd birthday last week, was in confident mood as he predicted an extension to his record of going the distance only twice in 20 fights. "Lawal has never been stopped before, but he will this time. I ain't going the 12 rounds," he said.

Hamed's hand injury led to a match with the Mexican Arnulfo Caspillo twice being postponed, but he said: "It is getting better and I will be as right as rain come 16 March and hungry to fight again after this break."

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