ADAM AZIM is on the brink of becoming one of the biggest names in British boxing.
But unlike several prospects of yesteryear, the surging light-welterweight isn’t letting his new-found fame and success go to his head.
The 20-year-old has put himself on the cusp of being a household name with seven scintillating performances in just over two years.
And he’s hoping to continue his surge to European and world title contention by passing his toughest test to date on Saturday – a headline clash at Wembley arena against undefeated Nicaraguan Santos Reyes.
But Azim knows there is plenty of work left to do in order to fulfil his dream of becoming the first first-ever undisputed champion of Pakistani origin.
The slick Slough slugger told SunSport: “I keep my feet on the ground, I train hard and I do everything right.
“If I keep a great lifestyle outside the ring, it will be easy in the fights.
“With me, when I get all this attention and get all this media, it doesn’t phase me – it comes with it. So if you’re doing very well, successfully, then you’ll get rewarded.”
British boxing great Amir Khan was a huge inspiration for Azim as a kid, although it’s a man ‘King Khan’ desperately tried to fight who holds the title of his favourite fighter.
He said: “[My favourite fighter] of all time? Floyd Mayweather. Floyd Mayweather is one of the best ever.
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“You can’t find anyone like him. He’s the only undefeated fighter and his mindset outside of the ring is incredible as well.
“So he’s my favourite fighter.”
But the shared Pakistani heritage with Khan – who he had the pleasure of seeing fight in person as a kid – is something he takes great pride in.
He said: “It played a big part in my life because when I was growing up, Amir Khan was an excelling fighter at the time.
“He was winning numerous titles, a world champion and he was a massive, massive name at the time.
“And I was in Manchester Arena watching his fight with my dad.
“And my dad said to me, ‘One day, you’re going to fight here.’
“And the funniest thing is, I fought on the Kell Brook and Amir Khan undercard and I got to meet Khan as well.
“And that was 14 years later. It shows that if you’re looking at someone, that you can also make it as well.
“And I want to be the next person inspiring the young generation and also inspire everyone.”
Azim is on course to win a world title before he’s 22 – the age at which Khan got his hands on the WBA light-welterweight strap.
But he’s not obsessed with one-upping his idol, saying: “I want to win a world title at such a young age, but I don’t want to beat Khan.
“I don’t want to try to beat his record. But if I can, that’s a big statement.
“He’s inspired me and I want to win a world title at a young age. Hopefully next year.”
Despite his tender years, Azim is already a role model to kids in his local community and those, who like him, suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder.
He said: “It’s great and it’s inspiring for me as well because, throughout my career, I want to help people. And the one thing I had was ADHD.
“ADHD played a massive, massive part in my boxing career. And so far, ADHD has helped me so much to get me where I am.
“I can still switch it on in the ring. It’s like a thing where I get in the ring and I switch on just like that.”
Being able to manage the disorder, however, hasn’t always been easy for the soft-spoken Azim.
He admitted: “Before, it was a hassle and it was hard for me. I was a kid and everywhere and I used to mess about.
“I’ve done a few funny things when I was a little kid. But it’s helped me massively.”
Azim’s sights are set on claiming a European title, aspirations which he hopes to keep intact with a blowout victory over Reyes under the shadows of the famous Wembley arch.
He said: “I want to get the knockout and I want to get a big performance on Saturday and show everyone what I’m about.
“The same way I’ve been handling my fights. The objective remains the same.”