Feature | Highlight 5 | Issue | Premium | Dec 09 2019

How Omar Sheika went from losing against a Hull fisherman to challenging Joe Calzaghe

Omar Sheika, an all-action fan favourite from Paterson, New Jersey, came up short in four world title shots and rues the bad luck which plagued his career
Joe Calzaghe v Omar Sheika - WBO Super Middleweight title - 12/08/00  |  Calzaghe vs. Sheika (Action Images / Mike Cleary)

BECAUSE he was about as subtle as his fighting style, it didn’t take me long to realise an interview on a Monday afternoon wasn’t something Omar Sheika wanted to do. It was pretty clear, too, that it wasn’t the day that was the issue, nor the time of day. Instead, it was the interview itself.

Which explained why it was delayed, then delayed again, and why it was the fighter and not the interviewer who asked the first question: “What’s it for?”

Rather than an attempt to glean the name of the publication, or any information regarding the type of interview, this was a softer way of saying: “What’s the point?” So first I made my case, then Sheika made his. I listened to him, appreciating the fact that seven years had elapsed since his last fight and 14 since his last world title shot, and soon figured my reason for wanting to do it and his reason for not wanting to do it were essentially one and the same.


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