Born in Sheffield, England to Yemeni parents, Prince Naseem Hamed brought bone-crunching, head-cracking, leg-wobbling power to the featherweight division in the late 90s. An elusive, free-styling, arrogant southpaw with power in either hand, the Prince called the rounds he’d scored kayos in and then boasted about it when he proved himself true. Training out of the Wincobank Hill boxing gym of Brendan Ingle, the seven year old Naseem showed an aptitude for speed, power and the drive to become a champion. After 11 years as an amateur and a record 62-5 (18), Hamed turned pro and started racking up the kayos.
In 1997 he burst upon the American boxing scene with a true tempest-in-a-teapot of a fight against the Flushing Flash Kevin Kelley. Their contest featured one of the longest ring-entrance walks ever witnessed and six knockdowns in four rounds. The Prince had arrived.
He solidified his claim to featherweight bad-assery with a frightening knockout of tough but limited Augie The Las Vegas Kid Sanchez in Connecticut in August of 2000, a fight which paved the way for a featherweight unification fight against the great Marco Antonio Barrera. Unfortunately for the Prince, he had broken his hand in the Sanchez victory and allowed himself to get too out of shape during the recovery period. Once camp began for Barrera it was focused almost entirely on weight-loss. Whatever, the Prince never really recovered professionally from the embarrassing domination he suffered at the hands of Barrera.
At his peak he posed a difficult and extremely dangerous opponent for any featherweight and he helped catapult the little men into bigger purses with his flamboyant style, arrogance and knockout power to back it up. He was inducted into the IBHOF in 2015.