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‘I would never stage an injury’: Dan Azeez insists he legitimately hurt himself, which has postponed a fight with Joshua Buatsi

Dan Azeez says it’s hurtful that anyone would think he made up an injury to stall on a fight with Joshua Buatsi.

Dan Azeez says he hurt his lower back in training down the home stretch.
Dan Azeez says he hurt his lower back in training down the home stretch.
Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Following the news that Dan Azeez had to pull out of this weekend’s fight against Joshua Buatsi because of a training injury, Azeez talks to Sky Sports about the disappointment he’s feeling that anyone would question his credibility.

“I was having my last, kind of, real hard session and I guess my back after the session — my back, I could just feel some sort of pain in my lower back,” Azeez said. “Yeah, it just got worse and worse from there. I thought, to be honest, I thought I’m gonna take some pain killers or something, but it’s just like the restriction. I couldn’t move the way I needed to move.

“Standing up, sitting down was a lot of pain. Yeah, I just was not fit to box after that to be fair. I’ve got some rehab to do, do some recovery work, and it looks positive. I thought it’d actually be much longer than expected, so I’m actually quite pleased about that. So hopefully we can get a fight date sooner rather than later.

“One of the things that has been most upsetting, I’m hearing that narrative ‘three weeks out, it happened’ or ‘the show is gonna be off’ and that’s just really hurtful. For someone of my integrity, the type of fighter I am, I would never ever do that. I would never stage an injury. Like I would rather just go on, go out there with an injury. There’s people that have worked hard to pay for a ticket to come, there’s people that have traveled far — I just wouldn’t do that.

“It has nothing to do with Boxxer, nothing to do with Ben, nothing even to do with Buatsi. I got the injury just like the other day and that’s when the fight got pulled off after seeking medical advice and going to a specialist, it was like ‘no.’

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