You sometimes have to stifle a wry smile when a greenhorn boxer declares he will be world champion in three years time.
But when Muheeb Fazeldin says it, you can’t discount it as rash optimism or simple bravado.
And that’s not because of a winning start to his career- but the fact he has access to somebody who has done it all before, Naseem Hamed.
Sheffield’s most exciting boxer ruled the world from 1995-2001 - now he “mentors” boxers from his brother Ali’s gym, in east Sheffield.
Burngreave-based Fazeldin grew up with Naz as his hero. And while that remains the case, he doesn’t merely want to copy his or anyone’s style, simply to take the bits out of it that will suit his own. “I’ve learned a lot from Naz, he’s my idol” says the 21-year-old bantamweight.
“He got me into boxing, flipping over the ropes and knocking people out. I want to learn from him but become by own self.”
Fazeldin quit the Ingle gym that developed Hamed, to join Ali’s growing centre. He says the atmosphere there is “more homely.”
“I didn’t click at the Ingles. Ali’s gym felt like home, the atmosphere. He took me on the pads and explained to me what I was doing wrong and right.
“Working with me on my power and balance. Naz came when the gym opened, he chips in. When we are sparring at iceSheffield or London he has been the mentor really. He gives you advice, and who doesn’t need advice from Naz! His advice is worth listening to.
“It is a boost in confidence when you have got Naz in your corner and telling you what to do” said Fazeldin.
“As for Ali, he is a great, funny, person. Good guy to have around, like a father-figure. You can talk to him about anything.”
The Hamed gym has not got a high profile, so far, admitted Fazeldin. But he predicted in a couple of years the gym would be “bringing belts” to the city and eventually world titles.
“My plan is to become world champion with in three years maximum. If I put my head down and surround myself with the people I am surrounded with, all positive vibes, then yes, within three years I will be bringing a world title back.