Rotherham boxer dignified in defeat

John Lewis-Dickinson and Neil Dawson in their British Cruiserweight Title fight at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
John Lewis-Dickinson and Neil Dawson in their British Cruiserweight Title fight at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.
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It takes a special kind of person to smile when you have just been battered on the ropes after 10 hard rounds - and

the ref has stopped the fight, dashing your hopes of winning a British title.

But there was no disgrace in defeat for Thorpe Hesley’s Neil Dawson, after referee Phil Edwards stepped in to

prevent Jon-Lewis Dickinson inflicting more damage.

Dawson seemed to smile as an open act of acceptance that the better man on the night had won.

He had been a game opponent, but he came up short against the home fighter, who successfully retained the British

cruiserweight title and gets to keep the Lonsdale belt.

Dawson, 33, was competitive and dangerous with sweeping left hooks. But Dickinson, 27, from Birtley, County Durham was more direct, marching forward behind a higher guard, and able to rock the Rotherham man’s head back on far too many occasions.

Dawson, who won the WBO International cruiserweight title last May, looked exhausted in the 10th and his face was blowing up when the Preston official stepped in at Newcastle Arena.

Dickinson,a former English champion at 14 st 4 lbs, has beaten our local fighters before; he left Doncaster’s John

Anthony and Chesterfield’s Mark Krence in his wake. And while he had to deal with Dawson’s left swipes to the body in the first round, he served notice of what was to come with a right hand to the chin.

When the pair fought inside, it was Dickinson who had the most success - his evil uppercut threatening to do damage.

At the end of the third round, Dawson’s corner were advising him to counter attack more efficiently: “draw him in, make him make a mistake.” Dawson did some promising work in the sixth but the Durham man had the faster combinations and that sapped the will out of the challenger.

There were wins for Sheffield’s Ross Burkinshaw and Dronfield’s Lewis Taylor.