Highly-touted 154-pounder Hamzah Sheeraz says relocating his training camp to the US has proved to himself that he belongs at top level.
For the last two months, the Ilford fighter has been training under the seasoned Ricky Funez at the Ten Goose Gym in Los Angeles. Sheeraz believes mixing it with elite American, Mexican and Latino talent has shown him he has what it takes to reach the higher echelons of the sport.
“If I came here and got my arse kicked in sparring, I would have come home and not wasted time and money. The sparring whether it’s in our gym, going to the Wild Card or Justin Fortune’s gym is great. I have been sparring Olympians, Mexicans, South Americans and Cubans,” said Sheeraz (12-0, 8 KOs).
“It’s good to get a taste of all the styles because you know where you are at. I know for sure that I belong at the top after sparring here. It’s now about making the right adjustments and moves at the right time.
“In terms of training over here it is how you are outside as well as inside the ring. It’s not like I’m a wild child. I’m well behaved, but watching boxing, living it and breathing it is all I do out here.
“So many people come in and out the gym like the Ruelas brothers and I pick up a bit of knowledge from everyone. It takes a few camps for massive changes, but I’ve been learning a hell of a lot especially when it comes to work rate.”
Funez learned the boxing business under the legendary Dan and Joe Goossen, working with the likes of Diego Corrales, Shane Mosley, Azumah Nelson, Michael Nunn, Gabe Ruelas, Rafael Ruelas, James Toney and Israel Vazquez. Sheeraz originally met the Honduran-born coach in London in 2019.
“Before my fight with Ryan Kelly, Ricky was around as he had a YouTuber fighting on a charity event,” recalled Sheeraz. “I was asked to do a session with him so I could get a taste of what it was like working with an American coach and didn’t think anything of it.
“I thought I’d do the session and crack on with my day. Ever since then I have always wanted to come to America. At the time I didn’t have the funds and sponsorship in place, but got that thanks to my sponsors in Dubai.
“That allowed me to come over here and, once we got the funds, I made the move straight away. I am fully based here training wise with Ricky. It is pure camp life and I’m usually too tired to do much when I have time so it is Netflix and rest. It isn’t boring because I am enjoying it.
“I have given up so much. Unfortunately, my uncle passed away and I had to miss his funeral, my birthday and a couple religious festivals. I have been away for what seems so long that whoever is in the ring with me has to pay for it.”
Main image: Queensberry Promotions.