The day Naseem Hamed made a promise he couldn’t keep

Naseem Hamed,  1995
Naseem Hamed, 1995
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I’ll be back.

That’s what Wincobank’s finest boxer Naseem Hamed told 12,000 Sheffield fight fans after the ‘Full Monty’ show at Sheffield Arena, 20 years ago this week.

Naz had just produced one of the best performances of his career in defending his WBO title.

With a December fight in New York looming against Kevin Kelly, he said: “It meant a lot to me to fight in Sheffield.

“I am always loyal to my home city, no matter where I am.

“I will be back, bringing the glory back to Sheffield.

Full Monty poster

Full Monty poster

“I would like to thank everybody for their support and loyalty. Sheffield, you are unbelieveable.”

In fact, his TKO win over Puerta Rican Jose Badillo turned out to be his last in the steel city.

He boxed nine more times, including twice in Manchester, but never locally, ending his career in London in 2002, despite plenty of suggestions he would return to the ring.

Now aged 43, the one-time protege of Brendan Ingle, returns to the city every so often, but lives in the south of England.

Naseem Hamed, couldn't fulfil his promise

Naseem Hamed, couldn't fulfil his promise

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Naseem Hamed and fellow Full Monty fighter  Ryan Rhodes

Naseem Hamed and fellow Full Monty fighter Ryan Rhodes