Deontay Wilder once named an iconic fighter as the United Kingdom’s greatest.
In a resurfaced clip courtesy of BT Sport, ‘The Bronze Bomber’ sung the praises of Naseem Hamed when asked to name the best British boxer of all time.
Wilder’s reasoning appears to be more surrounding the entertainment that the enigmatic ‘Naz’ brought to the sport rather than any specific in-ring achievements.
“Prince Naseem. He was crazy. He was flying. Confident. Who is this guy? He was so entertaining.”
Hamed was a multiple featherweight world champion, only tasting defeat once in a 37 fight career to Mexican great, Marco Antonio Barrera. He headlined shows in both the UK and US, drawing crowds no matter who he faced.
Nothing short of a global superstar, ‘Prince Naseem’ was brash and cocky with the skills to back it up. The hall-of-famer had 31 knockouts – a ratio of 84% – to his name, and influenced boxing by proving the impact of showmanship as well as fighting skills.
Many fighters, domestic or otherwise, have cited Hamed’s legacy as impacting either their boxing style or antics outside of the ring, and it’s easy to see why ‘The Bronze Bomber’ was a fan considering his own elaborate ring walks.
They also, despite the gulf in weight class, share the tendency for knockouts, with Wilder being known as one of the hardest hitters in the sport’s history,
‘Naz’ hung up the gloves in 2002 after a decade-long professional career, the substance of which has landed him on plenty of ‘best ever’ lists. The southpaw from Sheffield still enjoys the sport as a fan and occasional analyst.
Wilder also name checked heavyweight great, Lennox Lewis, in the best of British discussion.