Boxing: Title blow as Neil misses the big Prize

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Rotherham’s Neil Dawson’s saw his hopes of becoming the cruiserweight Prizefighter champion dashed - and paid a high price in the process.

Dawson, of Thorpe Hesley, was involved in the last quarter-final at the York Hall in Bethnal Green and was beaten unanimously by former European light-heavyweight champion Danny McIntosh. The defeat meant he lost his position to challenge for the British title.

McIntosh has recently been sparring Danish superstar Mikkel Kessler ahead of Kessler’s world title unification re-match with Carl Froch next weekend. His sharpness was more apparent and all the judges agreed.

Schooled in Wincobank by the Ingles, Norwich-born McIntosh, utilised the trademark evasive Ingle style in the first and made the much bigger Dawson miss frustratingly. McIntosh’s jab and speed came more into play in the second. At the end of the third his punch success percentage was double that of Dawson’s.

Dawson, aged 32, had been installed as second favourite ahead of the competition and was Sky pundit Johnny Nelson’s pick to win

“We’re disappointed for Neil but the competition format was all wrong for him and by the time he’d got going the night was over,” explained Dawson’s manager, Carl Greaves.

“We’ve lost our position to challenge for the British title now, which has put a downer on things, so we might have to take a fight at the end of the month.

“Chris Keane is being raved about and Neil is ranked high in the WBO so he might fight him in Walsall. Keane beat my man, Shane McPhilbin, earlier this year and is a good kid.

We’re not sure what we’re doing with Neil yet but that might be the only way back at this stage in his career if he wants to get the British title.”

Greaves hedged his bets with three of his men in the competition and it was his Welshman, Hari Miles, who then beat McIntosh in the semi-final before losing to Spanish-born Wadi Camacho in the final.