Naseem's bright future :BOXING

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The Independent Online
Naseem Hamed should soon be taking delivery of a Mercedes convertible as a gift from the President of the Yemen. The promoter, Frank Warren, intends to secure him a World Boxing Association world title bout against Wilfredo Vasquez this summer.

That may be the double reward for Naseem after his four- round rout of the Mexican, Armando Castro, in Glasgow on Saturday. There is the considerable financial prospect of a fight in the Yemen - Warren is due there for talks shortly - and with Naseem's options widening, he may have to turn down a £170,000 purse for defending his European bantamweight crown against Denmark's Johnny Bredahl.

The Bredahl fight could go ahead in Glasgow on 4 March. He must decide if he wishes to trim back down to the 8st 6lb limit or retain the extra power of a super-bantamweight.

Warren has been in contact with the Acaries brothers of France, who promote Vasquez, in the bid to secure a summer WBA fight. "Castro wasn't a washed up, shot fighter," Warren said. "He just couldn't reach Naz, who's got such magnificent reflexes. Castrowas outclassed and blitzed."

Castro, 31, who had fought seven world champions, could hardly lay a glove on Naseem before being put down twice and stopped after 2min 9sec of the fourth. It has to be said, however, that the Mexican has seen far better days in a 62-fight career, the high points of which have been three shots at a world title.

At the other end of the weight scale, the Dennis Andries story entered a new phase. The man who used to make his age a guarded secret, but now freely tells the world he is 48 years old, stopped Denzil Browne on his 26th birthday to win the vacant Britishcruiserweight title - 15 years after his first tilt at a domestic championship.

He did not, though, seem too happy at being played into the ring to the Beatles classic When I'm 64. "Denzil put up a good fight, but I was always in control," he said. "My waist was getting lonely, so I wanted that belt. I've got back to basics with a British title."

Warren is now talking of giving Andries the chance of a fourth world title, with a crack at the World Boxing Council belt currently in the hands of the Frenchman, Anaclet Wamba.