Sheffield boxing: fighter could have ‘lost his eye’ in ring riot

Boxing Uzair Najib v Muheeb Fazeldin - Uzair Najib (left) and Muheeb Fazeldin (right) - Photo by James Williamson
Boxing Uzair Najib v Muheeb Fazeldin - Uzair Najib (left) and Muheeb Fazeldin (right) - Photo by James Williamson
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Muheeb Fazeldin claims a lout could have gouged his eye out after fans stormed the ring at Sheffield’s Octagon last weekend.

But he says he is putting the incident behind him - and has nothing but respect for his vanquished city rival, Uzair Najib.

Burngreave’s Fazeldin, 22, recalled the aftermath after stopping his Park Hill rival: “One guy suddenly stormed into the ring - the same one who I’d seen moving his finger across his throat at me before the fight. Security tried to protect me and Uzair as others came in the ring but a couple were trying to attack me and one of them hit me with a key - I had to have three stitches over my left eye. If that had gone in my eye it could have ended my career. “In our business you get used to being hit, but not like that. I looked around and hoped to God that nobody had any weapons and no one got really hurt. I praise the Lord that everybody was safe and sound - apart from me!”

Before the match, Fazeldin had ramped up the bad-feeling at a press conference, hurling abuse at Najib. Asked if he regretted doing that, he replied: “No, press conferences are all about selling the fight.

“I thought our fight was being ignored (it was on the undercard to Ross Burkinshaw’s WBO European title match) and because Uzair had said he was going to knock me out I said what I did. After the fight, Uzair showed what a great sportsman he is. He apologised on behalf of the people who came into the ring and at all times was cool, calm and collected.

“Now I want to move on from this win. I’d had a 10 week training camp and it really paid off. On the night I was the stronger boxer and now I want to go on and challenge for other things.”

n Local boxers Rod Smith, Sam O’Maison, Jos Paul and Callum Hancock are among competitors in a Dave Coldwell bill at iceSheffield tonight. Doncaster’s Josh Morgan fights Sheffield’s Qasim Hussain at lightweight.