TITLE-chasing Neil Dawson has taken a swipe at Matty Askin, claiming the Barnsley-born puncher is “wide open” and “boxed nobody” of any stature in his career.
Dawson will lock horns with Askin for the vacant Central Area cruiserweight title at Wigan’s Robin Park Arena on March 26 on the undercard of Denton Vassell’s Commonwealth welterweight title defence against Bethuel Ushona.
It is the first time either fighter will go the 10-round championship distance and both are undefeated.
But Thorpe Hesley’s Dawson is convinced he can end Askin’s hot streak and maintain his own impressive record.
Dawson told The Star: “He is a big, fast puncher but they are all in the cruiserweight division. I have watched a couple of tapes of him and he seems to be wide open.
“Matty has boxed nobody. When he was boxing amateur, I was already a professional.
“I will have the edge on him if it goes the distance. The longer the fight goes on, the more chance I will have of winning. The only chance he has got is if he catches me cold in the early rounds.
“But I know anything can happen so I won’t be under-estimating him.”
Dawson, who trains at Glyn Rhodes’ gym in Hillsborough, made a successful return to the ring last month, defeating Mark Lewis at the Barnsley Metrodome. Lewis had to retire at the end of the second round after damaging his right shoulder.
Dawson says he is running up to six miles every day and plans on sparring with heavyweight David Howe in preparation.
The 30-year-old believes being the underdog will count in his favour.
“He’ll be under more pressure than me,” said Dawson. “He’ll have supporters going down on the night so he won’t want to get embarrassed in front of them.”