ZAHID HUSSAIN will tackle old rival Razaq Najib for the vacant Central Area Super-Bantamweight in a Yorkshire derby on VIP Boxing’s card at Royal Armouries, Leeds on Saturday February 26.
Sheffield’s Najib (12-4, 2 KOs) won a disputed points decision in a thriller against Hussain (16-2, 2 KOs) when they met in Rotherham in March 2019.
VIP managed and promoted Hussain said: “Our first meeting was a very exciting fight from round one to ten, and a lot of people said it was one of the best small hall fights that year.
“A majority of the people thought I’d won and even neutrals there to watch other people box said I got robbed, but the referee saw different."
“I have just got to keep it as neat as possible this time. I can’t let Razaq catch me with silly shots and I have to keep my defence tight.
“I haven’t seen or spoken to him since that fight, but there is no hard feelings or hate.
“I just want the fight to be completely fair, and that whoever deserves to win does that.”
The opportunity to win a second Central Area title came as welcome relief to Hussain, who was stopped in two rounds by Hopey Price in front of 20,000 fans at Headingley in September.
He says: “That was everything I dreamed of and I was star struck by it all and froze. I can’t take nothing away from Hopey. It was a cracking shot.
“The main cause was the ten-second bell for the round to end. It was so loud in my ears I turned I thought it was the end of the round.
“I saw my coach still on the apron and realised what it wasn’t. I switched off trying to regroup and Hopey took advantage.”
Batley Lightweight Josh Hargreaves (1-0), Doncaster Lightweight Levi Smith (1-0), Leeds Light-Heavyweight Mali Wright (1-0, 1 KO), Leeds Super-Welterweight Jake Goodwin (2-0) and Hull Lightweight Hasim Rehman (1-0) will all box four rounders.
Barnsley Light-Heavyweight Callum Simpson (5-0, 3 KOs) is in a six rounder.
Promoter Steve Wood added: “It’s great to be back at Royal Armouries again and over the next 18 months VIP’s stars of tomorrow who are on the undercard will be building their name and profile at this magnificent venue."
“Josh Warrington is the catalyst for the boom in the area and there are many more potential champion from the area on the VIP roster.”
Tickets for this great night of action are £40 standard and £80 ringside including a curry. They are available from www.vipboxing.co.uk, 01942 874241 & contacting fighters.