“Dedication. Consistency and Discipline. That's What I Live By.” An Interview with Boxer Dan Azeez

“Dedication. Consistency and Discipline. That's What I Live By.” An Interview with Boxer Dan Azeez

Kristin Kennedy-Brown - January 30, 2024

Dan Azeez will take on fellow British boxer Joshua Buatsi on Saturday 2nd February, with the winner expected to establish the leading contender in the light-heavyweight division. After his recent back injury, Azeez is back in the ring and looking forward to the fight. Azeez spoke about his life motto “Dedication. Consistency and Discipline” in both performance and mindset being the tool to helping him overcome his recent setback. 

We chatted to Dan Azeez on his journey into boxing, his inspirations and what the next five years have in-store for him… Read on to learn more…

How are you feeling?

Yeah, I’m good. Tough and gruelling week ahead. The last week is always the worst part. 

Tell us a little bit about your journey into boxing… You initially planned a career in the city after your degree in accounting, what made you begin your journey into boxing?

I started boxing when I was working my normal day job, but I used to still box as an amateur. Boxing took up a lot of time and I was putting a lot of effort in as a hobby. I realised I was putting all of this time in and I thought I might as well try out the pros. I didn’t want to get to a certain age and think what if. 

I gave it a go even though I turned over quite late and it turned out for the best. I thought... 'Let's try now and see where we go'. 

What inspires your craft? Who were your idols growing up?

The boxers before me… Their struggles and how they dealt with it - how they overcame certain obstacles in their career. When I first started boxing, I was totally awful. It's good to be a living example to the younger generation coming up. You know as long as you stay dedicated, and focus on whatever you want to achieve. 

Everyone knows my favourite fighter is Marvin Hagler. He went through a lot of adversities and I was inspired by his story. 

What teacher or coach would you say made the biggest impact on your development in your career?

All of my coaches from my days of amateur coaching have inspired me. From my current coach to all the coaches I have had in-between - they all have inspired me. The main thing they have instilled into me is belief. 

Even my teachers in school have inspired me. I was never the most confident - I was always used to tell myself ‘I can’t’. My teachers and my mum reminded me that I can. 

Rising above setbacks is a big part of our brand ethos and DNA.. You recently had to push your fight back against Joshua Buatsi, how are you recovering to fight again after your back injury? And What is your advice for rising above setbacks?

I am recovering very well. A lot of boxing is mentally driven. As a boxer you can never really go into a fight 100% - look at the sport we are in - we get bashed for a living. So you know, you’re always going to get an injury here and there. 

My recent injury has been hard to overcome - my advice for overcoming setbacks would be taking everyday step by step. Everyday is a new day and you just need to keep pushing for a better one. Step by step, brick by brick - and then you get to where you need to. 

How are you feeling for your fight on the 3rd of February?

I’m excited. I’m looking forward to it. I’m nervous… I don’t know I’ve got so many emotions. All in all I am just really excited that I have got to this stage. I would never have envisioned myself headlining Wembley against someone of Josh’s calibre. I’m really proud and I can’t wait. 

What is the one motto you live by?

Dedication. Consistency and Discipline. That's what I live by. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I ever received was actually from AJ, he said ‘the higher up you go, it doesn’t get easier’. 

That’s always stuck in my head - I remember watching him train and I said to him ‘that was easy for you’. And he said to me ‘nah trust me, the higher up the levels you go, it doesn’t get easier. It might look easy but its not.’ 

That has always stuck with me. He was basically saying, don’t take anything for granted and keep working hard. 

What does the next 5 years look like for you?

If I get this victory over Joshua, then I will keep working towards getting a world title. I have won every kind of belt domestically and I’ve won European, so now the next stage is to win a world title. Then I can finally say I have accomplished everything I set out to achieve as a world fighter. 

I’ve got to just got to keep grinding.