Boxing: Sheffield fighter seeks an end to contract with Dennis Hobson

Waleed Din.  Pic by James Williamson
Waleed Din. Pic by James Williamson
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Waleed Din is waiting for clearance to re-launch his boxing career, despite seeking an end to his association with Sheffield promoter Dennis Hobson.

The 5ft 4 ins Fir Vale fighter is adamant he wants to fight at minimum weight or light flyweight (7½ st/7st 10lbs) and no heavier. With few boxers campaigning at those weights in Europe Waleed wants to find a manager who can spread the net right the way across the world.

Din has asked the British Boxing Board to disentangle him from Hobson’s contract, which has another year to run. He suffered his first defeat last year in a Commonwealth title scrap at flyweight against Thomas Essomba, who ballooned in weight after the weigh-in, dwarfing Din in the ring.

Din says he expressly requested to fight at lower weights after that, but he was next pitched in against bantamweight Stefan Slavchev, in February, whom he beat.

“I wasn’t happy that opponent was also so much heavier than me. Then I was due to be on a City Hall show. On the posters it advertised me as a minimum weight. But my intended opponent turned out to be some grandad (flyweight Sergey Tasimov; Estonia) who’d be at least eight stone. So that didn’t happen and while I’m grateful for Dennis for the Commonwealth opportunity I need to move on.”

Din said that a future manager would be tasked with flying in minimum weight fighters from distant countries. “There are international titles and I do sell tickets - I sold about £10,000’s worth for Essomba. I can’t campaign until the contract situation is sorted, but as soon as I can I will find somebody to find those fights.”

Hobson and partner Asif Vali have made it clear they want to continue to guide Din in a managerial capacity. “Waleed is a young, talented boxer” Vali said on the Hobson website. “We gave him the opportunity to fight for the Commonwealth belt at flyweight, which his father and trainer wanted, more so than Dennis or myself. My advice was not to fight because Waleed is a light-flyweight and Essomba was naturally bigger. But Waleed’s team said it would be fine so we went with it, but he ended up losing convincingly.

“After that loss we had to sit down and look at things, and from a business point of view Waleed couldn’t expect to earn the same money. Dennis and myself are promoters who have to make shows work financially because we don’t have TV money behind us. So unless it’s financially viable then we aren’t able to move forward, and we’ve decided by mutual consent to release Waleed from his promotional contract. Although his career will still be managed by Dennis who will obviously try to get him back fighting for titles.”

Hobson added: “Waleed can’t expect preferential treatment, especially after a loss.

“If you’re going to get anywhere in this sport then it’s about working as a team, success is a two-way thing.

“There are plenty of experts out there offering advice but the reality is they wouldn’t invest or risk a bean. Waleed is a talent and I do want him to do well.”

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