Sam Sheedy says he will not underestimate his Commonwealth title opponent, at Ponds Forge on March 24.
The Sheffield middleweight admits that on paper, Nigerian Abolaji Rasheed seems a less dangerous opponent than Tommy Langford, who beat him in a split decision verdict in a British title contest in November.
“I always train hard for fights” said Sheedy. “For Langford it was a big step up, so I had to train really hard. But for this I have to train even harder because there is no way I can let this kid beat me. Will it be easier? He is going to be a tough man, he is going to want it, be hungry and raw. On paper, it looks like a lot easier task. But, who knows?”
Sheedy said Rasheed “is number one in Nigeria, he is their champion. To be sanctioned by the Commonwealth you have got to be at a certain standard; they can’t be having their title disgraced (by poor matchmaking.) Having said that he’s had 11 fights won eight, lost two drawn one, never fought out of Africa.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for me, I am boxing in my home town, I am going to be in the home corner, and am boxing a kid who has been beaten before. So he is not unbeatable. From what I have seen of him I have got his number.”
Sheedy, who claims to be the number two boxer in Sheffield, behind only Kell Brook, promised to bring his “A” game on the night.
“I have been dreaming about this, waking up crying I want it that much. The Commonwealth title is a wonderful title.”
He added: “I lost on a split decision for British title, and go straight back in for Commonwealth I am over the moon about it. It means absolutely everything.”
Meanwhile, Brook has his eyes on Keith Thurman as an opponent, after his planned fight with Errol Spenc Jr.
“I want to fight Thurman because I want to unify the division before I move up,” Brook told espn.com. “I think that would be a very explosive fight me and Keith Thurman. I spoke to him backstage before I fought Shan Porter and he said, ‘You’re the boy from England, I’m looking forward to seeing you fight.’ And I said the same to him because he stands out from all the rest of the welterweights for me.”