Neil Dawson believes he will be re-writing the history books if he wins the British cruiserweight title tomorrow night.
The Thorpe Hesley cruiserweight believes he will be the first fighter from Rotherham to lift the title in the last century.
Standing in his way is the reigning champion, Durham’s Jon Lewis Dickinson, who will have a large local support behind him at the Newcastle Arena.
Dawson, a 33-year-old joiner, says he is determined to win the belt.
“I got this chance the hard way. After I KO’d Tony Conquest in the first round (2012) I was made mandatory challenger but then when I lost in Prizefighter that was taken off me.
“But a win over Chris Keane (WBO international) put me back in it and although it will be a hard fight I know I can do well.”
Dawson says he cannot “go out like a lunatic” in the 12-round contest against a fighter six years younger.
“I will have to pace myself and beat him to the jab at first” he said. “If that isn’t working I will just do what I always do and try and take his head off!”
Dawson believes he has been in with a better qualify of opponent, although he did lose to Matty Askin in 2011, a fighter Dickinson has beaten.
“I have been sparing with Matty and he has given me a bit of inside knowledge” said Dawson. “Dickinson has recently fought kids who were shorter than him but I’m the same height (6ft 4ins) so he won’t have any advantage there.” The fight is chief support to the Stuart Hall-Martin Ward IBF world bantamweight title fight. Also on the bill are Sheffield bantamweight Ross Burkinshaw and Dronfield middleweight Lewis Taylor.
* When Stuart Hall and Martin Ward make history at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on Saturday, there won’t be a prouder man in the house than Glenn McCrory.
Almost 25 years ago, McCrory had North East boxing fans dancing in the streets when he claimed the IBF cruiserweight crown and became the region’s first-ever world champion.
Now, with Darlington’s Hall and County Durham’s Ward about to enter the record books as the first North East fighters to face each other for top honours when they contest Stuart’s IBF world bantamweight title, we catch up with Glenn for his thoughts on the event.
Stuart Hall against Martin Ward, with a packed undercard, is going to be a huge event. What does it mean to the region?
It’s brilliant for the North East. I’m immensely proud because I’ve wanted to see big promoters come and work with North East fighters, and to have two North East fighters fighting for a world title is a first.
It’s groundbreaking, and it’s what we need to get North East boxing going again. To get it going from strength to strength and make it bigger and better. We’ve got the best fans in the country in the North East, and there are good fighters. There’s an abundance of good amateur talent.
What we need is the promoters; the likes of Dennis [Hobson], Francis [Warren] and Eddie [Hearn] to come through and start to promote kids in the North East, and develop the talent we’ve got. When that happens we’ll match Liverpool, Manchester or anywhere.
Give us a breakdown of Hall versus Ward. How do you see it going and who wins?
I think it’s a good fight. They’re both champions. Obviously Martin Ward has done very well to get the Commonwealth title and then find himself fighting for the world title.
I think they’re both talented but I just think Stuey is the grittier. He’s a bit more solid; he’s got more substance. And I think that will be the difference.
I think Martin will fight well and put in a good performance but I think it’s Stuey Hall’s time now and he wants to enjoy being world champion. And I think he’ll be victorious on Saturday night.
Do you see it being an entertaining fight?
I do, because they’re both different styles. Martin can be flashy and has good skills, and Stuart’s just determined and he’s an old-time pro. No frills, just gets on with the job.
It’s a great show and I’m over the moon to be part of it. I’ll be there bringing Stuey into the ring and I’ll be as proud as you could ever be. It will be my crowning glory.
Dennis Hobson Promotions presents Stuart Hall defending his IBF bantamweight world title against Martin Ward at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on March 29. Also in action will be British and Commonwealth welterweight king Frankie Gavin; Sunderland’s English lightweight champ Kirk Goodings against Fishburn’s Gary Fox; Sedgefield’s rising star Bradley Saunders; Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor; Guisborough’s Josh Leather; Doncaster’s Dave Allen; American star heavyweight Eddie Chambers; Yorkshire’s Ross Burkinshaw; County Durham’s Thomas Patrick Ward; Slough’s George Michael Carman; Birtley’s Robert Dixon; Scottish heavyweight Gary Cornish, and Swansea’s Jay Harris.
Ticket Hotline = 0844 493 6666; Arena Website = www.metroradioarena.co.uk; Arena Twitter = @arenanewcastle; Dennis Hobson Promotions Website = www.dennishobson.com; Dennis Hobson Promotions Twitter = @Dennis_Hobson