CAM SHAW’s preparations for his next fight continued with a sparring session against a prospect touted as “the next Prince Naseem.”

Shaw travelled to London last week as part of his training camp for his first fight of 2020 at Rotherham’s Magna Centre on Saturday, March 7.

The York featherweight faced highly-rated youngster Dennis McCann - a 19-year-old signed to Hall-of-Famer Frank Warren who has reeled off four straight knock-out wins - during his sparring sessions.

Shaw, who has won all of four professional fights to date, felt the chance to get sparring against fellow talents such as McCann can only benefit his development.

“It was a great opportunity to go down there and spar some new people and embed everything that I’ve been learning and use it against other prospects,” he said.

“If you’re always sparring the same few people then you don’t learn anything new.

“I was sparring Dennis, who is being touted as the next big thing, as the next Prince Naseem.

“This kid is not just somebody that’s easy to spar with, it was like a proper fight.

“I had to go in there and listen to my trainer’s game plan and I came through it and it was a really good spar.

“Both of us gained a lot of experience from it. It was perfect really and it was exactly what we needed at this stage in our camp.

“The sparring wasn’t easy, he’s a very tough fighter.

“He’s a good boxer, with very fast hands and he’s very elusive too.

“But it gives me lots of good preparation ahead of my next fight and confidence too that I can compete with good prospects like him.

“Sparring like this is all part of getting those foundations in place for when I go and push on for titles.

“I could potentially meet people like Dennis later on in my career.

“It gives me the confidence that when I’m getting in there, I’m giving them as much of a go as they’re giving me.”

From his five fights to date, McCann has only gone into the third round once.

His knockouts have amassed hundreds of thousands on social media and YouTube.

“He does hit hard for a young lad of 19,” commended Shaw.

“But I just took that in my stride and I didn’t think of all the knockouts (on his record), I just wanted to get a good spar in and make sure that I learned from it.

“There was no knockouts (in the spars), put it that way!”

Given that Shaw is in the early stage of his career, he’s currently in four-round contests. The quality of his sparring is vital to go alongside his competitive fights.

“I always think that the sparring is massively important,” he added.

“Being in the ring against people like Dennis, is only going to make you grow as an individual and develop your character.

“It makes sure that what you’re learning in the gym is getting used in real-life circumstances, instead of getting lost in your memory bank.

“It’s important to have those hard spars in camp.”

Shaw plans to have around six fights in 2020, the first of which being a return to the scene of his debut at the Magna Centre.

“I can’t wait, it’s going to be my first fight of many this year,” he said. “I’m just really looking forward to getting back in the ring.

“Training is going really well, I’m coming down into shape and everything is coming together.”