British champion Dan Azeez has lifted the lid on his month-long sparring expertise with unified light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.
The Russian is about to tackle Azeez’s fellow Londoner Anthony Yarde on the Wembley Area on Saturday evening when he’ll put his IBF, WBC and WBO belts on the road.
And 33-year-old Azeez has opened up on his time contained in the champion’s Montreal coaching camp final yr.
He stated: “I used to be there for a month when he was getting ready for the Joe Smith combat. That was an excellent expertise. Who will get to coach with the unified champion? It was good to see how he prepares as a result of I’ve by no means been round somebody on the high high degree like he’s.
“A number of the sparring companions would simply spar after which return to their resort however his crew had been form sufficient to let me watch him do his S&C, pad work and simply the stretching and all the things else. I received to speak to him, he gave me recommendation and stuff like that.
“Total it was humorous as a result of for my first spar, I received picked up and brought to the health club by one other sparring accomplice, who was a cruiserweight.
“He turned up with a black eye, a bust lip and nostril bent. Recent accidents. I assumed ‘what the hell?’ However I didn’t need to present that I used to be nervous in regards to the spar however I requested him anyway: ‘who have you ever been sparring? Was it Beterbiev?’ He stated ‘yeah’.
“I assumed ‘bloody hell’ and requested him what it was like. He stated ‘it was good, however the one recommendation I’ll provide you with is – preserve your palms up!’
“However once we did spar it wasn’t that unhealthy – I used to be ready for the worst – so I used to be prepared. We did a number of tech sparring as nicely, simply studying stuff. I used to be actually happy with it, it was an excellent expertise and I’m joyful I went.”
Azeez, 18-0 (12), is the present British gentle heavyweight champion however he’ll take the subsequent step in the direction of world degree on February 11 when he faces Thomas Faure for the European title.
And ‘Tremendous’ Dan believes his expertise rubbing shoulders and buying and selling blows with Beterbiev will stand him in good stead.
“He’s so disciplined and really skilled,” Azeez stated. “You simply watch it and see the issues you want to implement. I used to be asking him how one can make weight and he was telling me I simply have to relaxation a bit. He was advising me about what number of rounds of sparring I must be doing.
“My coach couldn’t go along with me so I went on my own however his crew took a liking to me. They weren’t simply telling Beterbiev to do his factor they had been type of on my facet and telling me stuff to strive – Artur can be like: ‘why are you telling him these things!?’
“I don’t suppose I’ll ever neglect that journey and the issues I discovered there.”