The combination of age and well over ten years of retirement has failed to temper Naseem Hamed’s enormous ego. The hardest punching 126 pound fighter in history (don’t you agree?) was asked by Boxing Social for his opinion on the upcoming December 22 clash between current featherweight rivals Carl Frampton and Josh Warrington – and “Naz,” his cocksure attitude as familiar as ever even if his physical appearance has altered drastically over the years due to weight gain, said he would have “beaten them both on the same night.”
Love him or loathe him, chances are, yes, Hamed is right; he would have done so. Neither Frampton nor Warrington has ever met as vicious a puncher as the prime Hamed, and neither man’s defensive abilities would likely have been able to see to it that the bombs of “The Prince” did not land and land frequently. In fact, as good as Frampton and Warrington undeniably are, Hamed may not get too much criticism for saying what he has said.
“I found boxing so, so easy with incredible power, speed and accuracy,” the 44 year old told Boxing Social. “For me, personally, probably both of them (Warrington and Frampton) on the same night. That’s not disrespecting them. I love them, they are nice kids. I’m just saying the way I am. Everyone knows, I’m not just blowing my own trumpet, I’m a one-off. I set the bar too high, to the point that you probably can’t even see it. But this is their day, that was my day.”
Hamed was a genuine star in the late 1990s/early 2000s, until he ran into a certain Marco Antonio Barrera. During his six-year reign, Hamed did beat some fine fighters – Kevin Kelley being his biggest scalp – but did he really set the bar “so high you probably can’t even see it?” No. He came close, but the blend of skill, toughness and cleverness belonging to Barrera saw to it that Hamed fell short (and even all these years later, can you really forgive him for not enforcing the rematch clause he had, Hamed instead ducking the return fight he could so easily have fought?)
But what do you guys think: would a peak Hamed have been good enough to have taken both “The Jackal” and “The Pride of Leeds” on the same night? Maybe.