Yorkshire derby and Commonwealth title shot looms for Sheffield boxer Razaq Najib

Ryan Rhodes and Razaq Najib
Ryan Rhodes and Razaq Najib

Sheffield's Razaq Najib is one fight away from a shot at the Commonwealth title.

The 24-year-old Park Hill super bantamweight will take part in a Yorkshire derby against Leeds' Zahid Hussain in a final eliminator for the prestige belt, at 122 pounds.

It will be hosted at the Magna Centre on March 30.

Hussain is unbeaten after 14 fights while Najib has lost two of 11.

But the South Yorkshireman insists he has the tools to get the job done.

"Hussain is unbeaten but he has not been in with opponents as tough as the ones I have" said Najib. "I have definitely been in with better fighters.

Leeds boxer Zahid Hussain.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Leeds boxer Zahid Hussain. Picture Bruce Rollinson

"He is long and rangy but he won't like my fast work-rate. The plan is to start fast and finish fast and I can't see him coping with it.

"But then he might try and surprise me on the night, which is why I am training so hard at the moment."

The Ryan Rhodes-trained fighter said his first ever spar, as a professional was against Hussain, now 27.

"He was decent then and both of us have improved since then," said Najib.

"But I am feeling wicked (in this training camp) working on speed and head movement and other things and this will be a very good Yorkshire derby for people to watch."

Najib has two KO wins to his record.

"I am not that fussed about that, but don't get me wrong everybody wants to look top dog by KO'ing people.

"I am bothered in the sense that I ask myself if I have got the strength at this weight and the power.

"But not many people will be able to stay with the pace I set. We'll see on the night whether he has the answers."

Rhodes is an admirer of Najib's work-rate in training.

"We call him Forrest Gump - he just sets off and never stops going" the trainer said.