You’d think Naseem Hamed would be old news, 14 years after he last donned a pair of boxing gloves.
But his name was very much alive at a pre-fight press conference in his home city of Sheffield on Wednesday afternoon.
Ryan Rhodes, an old buddy of Naz, had organised a media event to parade four fighters who will be on a bill a week on Friday, at Bramall Lane.
One of them, Adnan Amar, who lives a stone’s throw away from the Napoleon’s conference venue on Ecclesall Road, is returning to the ring after more than four years out. The 33-year-old former English welterweight champion said: “I got a call from Prince Naseem congratulating me on the birth of my son.“He said: ‘I heard you’ve stopped boxing.’ The way he said it, he was a little bit shocked and surprised. He made me think. “
Amar had mixed views about returning to a sport in which he had won 25 and lost three.
Hamed reminded him that if he was to return, he’d have to give 100%. His mind wandered to the Kell Brook opportunity against Gennady Golovkin - putting himself in the position of fighting a man who was “coming to destroy you.” Amar asked himself: “Are you going to have the bottle half way through the fight to carry on?”
He tested the water sparring and discovered he’d “still got the moves” and will campaign at the Lane, against an opponent yet to be signed, at super middleweight.
Burngreave bantamweight Kyle Yousaf, who is also on the Rhodes bill, said Hamed was still the name on most people’s lips at the Ingle gym, where he trains.
He said much of the media attention of the present day stemmed back to what Hamed achieved there. The main guy was Naseem, really and truly. He was the one who elevated the Ingle name to a different level.”
Also on the show is Sheffield pair Ramzy Nassa, of Broomhill, and Chris Dutton, of Gleadless Town End.