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STARK RAV-ING NAZ!; His dressing room was like a party SAYS FRANK WARREN.

Frank Warren strode into world champion's Nas-eem Hamed's dressing- room__- and thought he was in the middle of a rave!

It was just 30 minutes before the WBO featherweight king's Dublin defence against Manuel Medina - and Britain's top promoter thought he had gate- crashed a party.

Hamed, along with members of his family and Sheffield Brat-pack boxing pals Ryan Rhodes, Johnny Nelson and Clifton Mitchell was moving and grooving to the pounding, rhythmic beat.

It was like a night out at London club Ministry of Sound - except that minutes later Hamed's unbeaten pro record and world title boxing belt were on the line.

A stunned Warren revealed: "I'd never seen anything like that in a dressing- room before - it was like going to a rave.

"There were people jumping up and down, the music was blaring> It was just like a carnival. You'd never think Naz was just about to go into a big fight.

"Normally a fighter's dressing-room just before the main event is a cathedral of calm. Everyone is focussed.

"I've been in with champs like Mike Tyson, Frank Bruno, Nigel Benn, Don Curry and others when they're taping up, just before fighting.

"Tyson had a few people around him saying 'You're the main man' and things like that - but everything is really quite serious.

"However in Naz's room it's crazy time. At one stage there were so many people we had to look for Naz - it was like being on the tube.

"But the amazing thing is that Naz is the calmest person there and the most relaxed person in the ring.

"He doesn't want it all quiet, he gets off on it. It works for him and it's good for him.

"It's a unique situation but Naz is a winner, and, as they say: 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'."

Those amazing scenes before and after double world champ Hamed's contest with Medina last August - which he won in 11 - and other recent bouts are included on an entertaining new video, The Prince Who is King.

The hour-long video, released on April 21 (Telstar Video and Interactive Entertainment, pounds 12.99), offers an enthralling behind the scenes look at Britain's most excitingboxer.

Hamed, who defends his WBO and IBF crowns against Sunderland's Billy Hardy at Manchester's Nynex Arena on May 3, is shown at home and abroad - in his parents' Yemen homeland.

Purchase of the video entitles you to a pounds 5 discount off the pounds 15 UK membership fee to the Prince Naseem Hamed Fan Club, PO Box 79, Sheffield, S1 1WS.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Wiechula, Frank
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 21, 1997
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