Shropshire Star

Boxing star Shabaz Masoud: I will be world champion

One of boxing's biggest rising stars, Shabaz Masoud, is flying high after his latest dominant victory as he confidently exclaims: "in two to three years I will be world champion."

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The fighter, who started out at Wellington Boxing Academy in Telford, has reason to be confident and ambitious after he dismantled former world title challenger Yoan Boyeaux at the weekend.

Facing someone who lasted three rounds against world champion Naoya Inoue in 2017, Masoud's speed, precision and power saw Boyeaux retire on his stool after just two rounds.

The super-bantamweight extended his record to 10-0 and is full of self-belief as he looks to rise further up the ranks.

"I'm saying it now, I'm saying it to you and I'll look back on this in years to come – in two to three years I will be world champion," Masoud told the Shropshire Star.

"Within two to three years I will be world champion, remember this conversation. It's not just talk.

"I'll be honest with you, I could get in with anybody right now.

"I fancy my chances against anybody, I'm so confident. When you train hard and take the right step ups, I just seem to get better and better and I want to test myself. I haven't lost a round in my career yet.

"With anything and especially sport, talk is cheap. If you can talk the talk and walk the walk, it's a big thing in boxing."

In Masoud's first seven professionals fights he only managed one stoppage, which came on his debut, but he has now stopped his opponent in two of his last three bouts.

The fight that went the distance, a dominant points decision over Diego Alberto Ruiz, was almost stopped in the fifth round, too, and that addition of power delights Masoud.

"I've always had power but I now feel like I'm coming into my man strength," he added.

"I'm a very accurate puncher and I showed that if I really want to go through the gears and stop someone, I can, but a lot of the time I just go in there and give them a boxing lesson.

"In the fifth round of that fight (against Ruiz), if you watch it, his corner comes up with the towel and is about to throw it and luckily for him he dipped and grabbed me.

"If there was a few more seconds in that round I probably would have got him out of there too.

"With my IQ and my precision – I am so accurate – adding this power to it, not many people will want to get in the ring with me. No-one mentions my name. No-one wants to fight me.

"It's a big statement (to finish Boyeaux) but it is what it is. You're only as good as your last performance.

"I'm taking this week off and then I'm back in the gym on Monday.

"My management and trainers kept telling me I need the week off because they know I will be back in the gym straight away. Sometimes you do need it to rejuvenate."

Masoud told the Shropshire Star ahead of his latest fight that he is targeting 'massive fights' and 'serious titles' this year, but for now he wants to take stock and prepare for a summer return to the ring.

He said: "I'll start training again on Monday and Ramadan is coming up so I'll stay home and continue training then.

"I'll get through that and as soon as it's done I'll be back in Essex (to train with Tyson Fury's former trainer Ben Davison) and I want to fight in late June or early July.

"After this fight they're saying I should be ranked in the top 15 in the world with the WBC. I'm already in the top 15 in the WBA, so they're talking about adding the WBC too.

"In terms of names, I don't know yet, but I want to level up. As long as they're ranked higher than me and it's a harder fight, that's all I want."