Trainer: Abbey not yet ready for big fights

Author: Kwame Larweh
Stephen Abbey

Abdul Rashid Williams, the trainer of super-middleweight boxer, Stephen Abbey, has dispelled his boxer’s claim of landing a lucrative bout with Russian opponent, Timur Nikarkhoev, on March 22.

Contrary to the boxer’s assertion, the trainer believes Abbey has not reached the stage where he can match up against the Russian and, therefore, wants Abbey to bide his time until he gets to a stage where he can challenge Timur.

Williams told the Graphic Sports last Friday that he feared Abbey (14-16-0) would be massacred if he rushed into a fight with the Russian at the Belleheide Centre, Pamel-Roosdaal in Belgium.

“Abbey has a long way to go. He needs further training. He is a good prospect but it is too early to fight Nikarkhoev. He has been training hard but there is more room for improvement,” said Williams, known in Ghanaian boxing circles as Believer.

Abbey, who claims to be in his early 30s, caused stunned Emmanuel Danso when they fought last July on the Azumah Nelson Fight Night at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra.

Subsequently, the burly fighter said he was ready to grab the opportunity to fight the Russian. But his trainer was unamused by his boxer’s newfound confidence, saying he had a long way to go before facing tough opponents such as Timur.

“Abbey has been training feverishly at the Black Panther Gym. I train him. He is my boxer and I know him. He is not ready but he is a good prospect for the future,” Williams said.