Boxing: Dawson is Keane to make amends

Neil Dawson, right, in action in his quarter-final defeat to Danny McIntosh in Prizefighter last weekend.
Neil Dawson, right, in action in his quarter-final defeat to Danny McIntosh in Prizefighter last weekend.
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Pressure affects sportsmen in different ways.

Some enjoy their moment in the spotlight and being the centre of attention. Others wilt in the heat of battle.

Thorpe Hesley puncher Neil Dawson concedes he found the media focus and weight of expectation too much in the cruiserweight Prizefighter tournament last weekend. Numerous bookmakers and pundits claimed the Rotherham boxer would win the competition at the York Hall in Bethnal Green.

However, Dawson was beaten unanimously by former European light-heavyweight champion Danny McIntosh in the quarter-finals.

Dawson told The Star: “It was a massive event. My phone went absolutely mental with messages from my friends and family.

“I did interviews with Sky and I got put up in a swanky hotel.

“You definitely get well looked after in those competitions.

“All the bookies had me down as the favourite to win it. I felt the pressure. It played on my mind.”

Dawson, who faces Chris Keane for the WBO International cruiserweight title a week today, accepts he deserved to lose.

“When I watched the tape back, he caught me with the cleaner shots,” he said. “Danny was slippery. He had a game plan just to pick me off and hold on to me.

“I thought I would be too big for him but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Dawson is under no illusions at the size of the task facing him when he takes on Chris Keane at Walsall Town Hall next Friday.

Keane has yet to taste defeat in 10 bouts, winning five by knockout.

“Chris is a strong lad,” he said. “A lot of people are tipping him to be one of the top guys in the division. I know I can’t take him lightly.

“He is a good puncher but so am I. I have got nothing to fear in this one.”