Adam Azim continued his blistering start to his professional career by defeating Franck Petitjean to capture the European super-lightweight title.
The 35-year-old champion entered the ring with a wealth of experience to his name, having being stopped just once in 33 fights heading into the clash.
However, at The Halls in Wolverhampton on Saturday Azim proved to be a cut above the champion, immediately commanding the centre of the ring and using his speed and footwork to build a strong lead on the judges’ scorecards throughout the early rounds.
Petitjean appeared tentative throughout in the face of Azim’s power, but his crafty defence allowed him to avoid taking too many shots early before a solid left to the body in the fifth got through and sent him crashing to the canvas.
Though he appeared he compromised, Petitjean managed to beat the referee’s count and survive the remainder of the round but his once-formidable guard gradually became more porous as the fight wore on and Azim continued to score with a variety of shots.
Adam Azim returned to action against Franck Petitjean at the The Halls in Wolverhampton on Saturday
21-year-old took the initiative from the opening bell, peppering his more experienced opponent with barrages of punches
Azim dropped Petitjean twice before the Frenchman’s corner threw in the towel in the tenth
Azim was docked a point in the ninth after he was judged to have hit Petitjean low but the gulf on the scorecards was such that only a knockout could prevent Petitjean dropping his title with three rounds remaining heading into the tenth.
Clearly not dissuaded by the the referee’s intervention, Azim continued his assault into the championship rounds, blitzing Petitjean repeatedly and landing an uppercut to score his second knockdown of the fight.
Petitjean demonstrated his toughness by again returning to his feet but the action was entirely one-way traffic by this stage, and the Frenchman’s corner elected to throw in the towel to save their fighter from any further punishment with 43 seconds remaining in the tenth round.
The result sees Azim capture the first major title of his professional career less than three years after making his debut.
‘I’m feeling amazing,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘He was really tough, I knew I couldn’t stop him in the early rounds, this was a development fight for me, I had to chop the tree down and I did that. I could have gone another 15 rounds then.’
After the fight Azim faced off with undefeated Danish super-lightweight Enock Poulsen inside the ring with the two prospects slated to face off in February.
European super-lightweight title marks the first major belt of Azim’s burgeoning pro career