News April 2019

Dale Evans ready to welcome Ochieng to welterweight

17.1.2013

By @John_Evans79

Dale Evans has less than two weeks to wait before he finally gets his hands on Erick Ochieng.

Last December, the 22 year old welterweight from St Clears travelled to Ochieng’s back yard to take on the former English light middleweight champion on Matchroom’s London show but scheduling problems on the night meant that the fight was postponed. The roles have reversed and Evans, 7-1-1 (3 KO’s), will now have a home advantage of sorts when the pair do finally meet over eight rounds in Cardiff on February 1st on the undercard of Lee Selby’s clash with Rendall Munroe.



“I kitted up, I was bandaged up and my gloves came in and I was ready to put them on expecting I’d be waiting an hour or two until I assumed I’d be going in,” Evans told Livefight about the postponed fight. “We got delayed and delayed and eventually at just after midnight somebody from Matchroom came in and gave me the option. They said they were concerned at the time I’d waited and that they were still gonna pay me – which was very generous of Eddie [Hearn, of Matchroom] – but were swinging towards me not fighting. I told them, “There’s not a hope I’m not fighting”. I’d sacrificed too much and trained too hard for it. They gave him [Ochieng] the same option and he obviously gave a different answer. He only lives down the road and his fans probably didn’t mind but for me it was a totally different story.

“I was gutted that the fight wasn’t on but I was more disappointed for the fans that’d travelled six hours on a bus. They arrived at the venue at 5.30pm and it was gone midnight when they were told I wouldn’t fight. I was devastated for everyone.”

Following his British light middleweight title defeat to Liam Smith, Ochieng has decided to test the waters at 147lbs and the dangerous Evans is more than happy to welcome him to welterweight. ‘Big Boy’ certainly posses the power to cause Ochieng problems and seems to be the kind of fighter that raises his performance according to the challenge facing him.

“I’m not saying I’ll stop him but if I do catch him with a nice clean shot…….

“He leaves himself open sometimes and if he starts swinging and I catch him clean then I do think the fight will be over but I’m not going in to this thinking that I am gonna stop him. He is tricky and he has a bit of the Mayweather style about him. He likes you to go to him. I can’t see him coming forward much, I think I’ll be doing the chasing. I’m not underestimating him at all. I think it’s gonna be a tough fight.

“I watched a video and he said that he walks around at 11st 4lb or 11st 5lb. That’s around a stone less than I walk around at so if he’s doing that, why not fight at welterweight?”

Plenty of fighters would have dismissed the idea of facing a talented and more experienced rival on an undercard, instead choosing to delay a possible fight until more money or a meaningful title were on the table. Evans deserves credit for jumping into such a challenge but insists he wouldn’t have things any other way.



“I’ve always said that I wouldn’t care who I got in the ring with,” he says. “At some point, you’re gonna have to have hard fights to prove who you are. It’s either these fights or I’m not gonna be getting in the ring at all.

“I’m getting exposure on Sky Sports and big bills and people are only gonna know who I am. There aren’t any big domestic fights anymore like there used to be with Benn and Eubank. They used to fight each other to prove who was the best. Now, everybody seems to avoid each other. I’ve always said I’ll fight anyone. I feel I’m only gonna better myself. We don’t know what’s gonna happen on the night but I don’t doubt myself. On paper, I’m not the favourite but I’ll never not be confident in myself and I feel I’ve got a good chance.”

After outpointing Sam Eggington and Mark Thompson on his way to a Prizefighter final in January [Glenn Foot eventually beat Evans], 2013 didn’t progress the way Evans would have envisaged and it is almost eight months since his last outing. To say he and coach Gary Lockett appeared disappointed in a post fight video following his six round victory over William Warburton is an understatement. Lockett suggested Evans’ full time job was restricting his progress and problems with his nose were restricting his breathing [Evans doesn’t quite reach Jon-Lewis Dickinson’s standard yet but has an atypical boxers nose]. The protracted period between fights has allowed Evans to look into both situations.

“I went to see about my nose and they said I’ve got a curve in my cartilage that blocks both nostrils,” he says. “I could have had an operation but I had a consultation and asked what would happen when I got hit on it again and he said it’s just like your ear. If you bend your ear, it flicks back. There’s no point in having it done when it could have gone again before the fight! I won’t be the only one with this problem. I’ll just get on with things and fight through it.

“I didn’t have the best performance against Warburton. They’re the opponent’s that I obviously need but I want more fifty-fifty fights and tougher fights. I’ve got one now and I’m looking forward to it.



“We had fantastic preparation for the last one [the postponed fight]. Work gave me three weeks off and very generously, Gary and his missus let me stay in their house for a week and I was back and forth to the gym training twice a day, sparring with Gavin [Rees], Liam [Williams] and the other boys in the gym. Preparation couldn’t have gone any better but on the night, things couldn’t have gone any worse to be honest! It’s on again on February 1st so let’s just hope it goes ahead.”



Tickets for 'Reloaded' Selby v Munroe are on sale now priced at £30, £40, £60 ringside and £120 VIP are available from livenation.co.uk or by calling 02920 22 44 88

VIP Packages priced £120 are available from matchroomboxing.com or by calling 01277 359900

The show will be broadcast live on Sky Sports

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