Last week’s news that the European Boxing Union had ordered a purse bid for Adam Azim (11-0, 8 KO’s) to defend his EBU super lightweight title against British and Commonwealth champion Dalton Smith (15-0, 11 KO’s) should have been a major, exciting announcement.

Instead, it was greeted with little more than a shrug of the shoulders by most, who accept that boxing politics will prevent Azim - who fights on Sky Sports under the Boxxer banner - and Smith - who boxes on DAZN for Matchroom - meeting within the next few months.

The purse bid has been pushed back to April 1st to allow Azim to observe Ramadan and although Smith has stated that he certainly won’t be pulling out of the bid when it does take place, he does have pressing business of his own to attend to in the meantime. He fights the dangerous Jose Zepeda in Sheffield on March 23rd. Azim made a successful maiden defence his title on February 5th when Enoch Poulsen was counted out after dislocating his shoulder in the fifth round of their fight. 

Azim appeared on Sky Sports’ Toe2Toe podcast on Tuesday and the unbeaten 21-year-old didn’t exactly throw down the gauntlet to his Sheffield rival.

“He can’t fight me because he’s fighting somebody else,” he said.

“I let my team do their job. I’m the guy who gets in the ring to fight. Whichever opponent they give me I’ll take it. This fight can build up nicely in the future or even now. This fight is going to happen anyways, even if it’s 20 years down the line or something. It’s going to happen.”

Boxing mystics who agree that the fight should be given time to grow have already begun to gaze deep into their crystal balls. They see a future world title unification fight between the two taking place in a stadium and headlining a major pay-per-view show.

That may well happen but it is a scenario that involves a lot of conjecture. The 140lb division is exceptionally strong and it isn’t a given that either fighter reaches the top of it without suffering a defeat.

Of course there are financial benefits to letting the fight marinate but if you play with your food for too long, it will go cold. 

The counter argument is that both Smith and Azim need each other. The fight would be a major event and both fighters would benefit and grow both technically and commercially from the whole experience. A loss wouldn’t spell the end of either fighter’s world title aspirations and the fight could - and in all likelihood would - trigger an ongoing rivalry between the two. 

Although Azim didn’t slam the door shut on fighting Smith next, he does seem to subscribe to the idea that the fight will be bigger in the future. 

“100%. If both of us win a world title then that’d be amazing. That’d be a stadium fight,” he said. “The other thing is, it could be a world title eliminator as well. I’m 21 years old, he’s 27. I’m still learning, he’s learning. We’re both on the trajectory to become world champions. It’s purse bids right now, I don’t fear no one so I don’t mind taking that fight."