Jeff Mayweather says Nikki Bascome’s “vicious” left hook is a weapon capable of hurting anyone as the Bermudian steps up his preparations in Las Vegas.
Bascome will challenge Mexican David Martínez for the vacant IBA international welterweight title at the Fairmont Southampton on November 24.
It will be Bascome’s first bout since his knockout defeat to Portugal’s Fábio Costa, although Mayweather believes his man has become a more well-rounded boxer since then after ironing out his defensive deficiencies.
The pair have trained on and off together since the start of the year, with Mayweather, the uncle of Floyd — the undefeated former world champion, encouraged by the improvements Bascome has made.
“Nikki had to work on his defence,” Mayweather told the Mayweather Boxing Channel.
“It showed because he got caught [against Costa]. He was in there banging instead of boxing.
“Defence was the only thing he lacked because he’s got power in both hands. He looks really, really sharp and his improvement is 85 per cent from what I saw last time.”
As for Bascome’s main strength, Mayweather has no doubt after working the mitts with his fighter at the fabled Mayweather Boxing Club.
“Nikki’s got a vicious, vicious left hook,” he said. “I sure wouldn’t want to get hit by it and I don’t think too many people would want to get hit by it. I think he can hurt anybody in his weight division.”
Mayweather is expected to be in Bascome’s corner for the first time when he meets Martínez, who has 12 wins from 15 contests. Bascome teamed up with Mayweather after splitting with his longtime coach, the late Allan “Forty” Rego, shortly after losing his unbeaten record against Costa.
The 27-year-old spent 12 years training under Rego and said Mayweather had built on the fundamentals his former coach had instilled in him.
“Jeff has been able to [improve my] reflexes and brought timing to my game,” he said. “I’ve definitely sharpened up and it’s all down to repetition. I’ve been catching shots in sparring and seeing them coming.”
Bascome will continue his training camp for the ninth fight of his professional career in Orlando, Florida.
The vacant IBA belt he will contend for is considered a “stepping stone” title, with the IBA not one of the four major boxing organisations.
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