News May 2019

Travis Dickinson talks CH5 tournament, Danny McIntosh threat and Ajisafe revenge


By Michael J Jones

Last Saturday in Reading fight fans witnessed the beginning of Hennessy Sports’ light-heavyweight tournament live on Channel Five. In the main event (and first quarter final), Leeds contender Bob Ajisafe claimed the vacant British title with a torrid points win over the still-dangerous Dean Francis.

Ajisafe should next meet Leon Senior in the first semi-final match despite there being no victor in the other quarter final bout. Senior’s Southern Area match with former middleweight Tony Hill was ruled a technical draw after only two rounds of action.

As Hill will take several weeks to recover from his cut-eye injury it is expected he will bow out of the tournament disappointingly early.

Watching the night’s action keenly was Birtley’s Travis Dickinson who has his own quarter final match this Saturday against big-punching Danny McIntosh. The bout goes ahead at the Ponds Forge Arena, Sheffield for the vacant English belt with Channel Five again televising live.

Speaking exclusively to Livefight a few days ago, Dickinson reveals he is fully aware of the competition of the ‘MaxiNutrition’ knockout tournament but, after a punishing camp alongside older brother Jon-Lewis, remains confident of victory.

Firstly I enquire about the nine-month layoff he has endured before entering the Channel Five tournament.

“My layoff is mostly to do with the retirement of (former promoter) Frank Maloney” says Travis who turned 26 this week. “After my last fight in Liverpool (a six-round decision over Nathan King) I kept asking for my next fight date but (Maloney) would never give me one. After he retired I had to take a while to sort (the promotional problems) out.”

Dickinson, 15-1 (5), is currently a promotional free-agent and is managed and trained by Ronny Roe who is also guides British cruiserweight champion Jon-Lewis.

After just two ring appearances since his lone defeat to Bob Ajisafe some 15 months ago, the 6’4” Geordie is eager to get back to action on the big stage as he explains…

“The MaxiNutrition tournament will be a good chance to get seen on Channel Five. Not all fans get Sky Sports or BoxNation but most get Channel Five so it will get more views.”

Saturday’s opponent McIntosh at 14-5 (7) has only been beaten by title-level opposition and carries power in either hand. It seems a risky return fight against a former English and European champion though Dickinson clearly understands the danger posed by the Norfolk’s McIntosh.

“Danny McIntosh is still dangerous and a big puncher” admits Travis. “I’ll have to stay fully focussed through the whole fight, with him hitting hard he could catch me early or late so I’ll have to stay alert all the way through.”

And what of the other fighters in the Hennessy-promoted tournament; who does he see as the biggest threat?

“Obviously I’ve got to get McIntosh out of the way first so I’m just focussing on that fight for now but I know I’ve got it in me to beat him and move on to the next stage.”

“I know the other fighters are all decent but I’m not looking past McIntosh for now. We’ll just have to see who wins what (in the opening bouts) and go from there.”

Dickinson tells me he thought Saturday’s Reading show was “ great” and agrees the scores of the main event were too wide though believes his former victor deserved the decision.

I ask the obvious question; is he hoping to get revenge over Ajisafe in the tournament?
“I’d like to face Ajisafe ideally to avenge the loss but that can only happen if we both keep winning and meet in the final (because of the tournament draw). It would be a lot different to last time.”

I ask about the Ajisafe defeat in December 2012 in which he slumped to a unanimous decision defeat in an English title fight. Travis reveals the shocking truth of his build-up before his lone reverse.

“Before I boxed Bob Ajisafe I hurt my ankle while doing road-work. I thought (the ankle) was broken but it wasn’t yet I still couldn’t run. Instead of running I had to work on an exercise bike. Then I broke a rib in sparring so found it hard to breath. Then after that I also picked up a cut which opened in the first round of the fight. Then I had a cut on the other eye which swelled up. I should never have fought that night.”

Dickinson was a solid amateur who twice beat George Groves in a vest. He turned pro in early 2009 and got his first break two years later in Prizefighter. He would impressively defeat all three opponents to join his older brother as a Prizefighter champion. Though pre-tournament favourite Tony Dodson was ruled out of the final with an ugly cut eye, Dickinson would hammer stand-in Sam Couzens in two to lift the trophy.

“Yeah Prizefighter seems like it was only last year it’s really flown by” says Travis when I remind him of his biggest night being three years ago. “It was a great night for me and though it would have been good to face Tony Dodson in the final it didn’t bother me at all. With the format nothing is certain and it’s just the way it happened.”

I already know the answer but I have to query if the light-heavyweight puncher has been working once more with his older sibling…

“Yes I’ve sparred a lot (with brother Jon-Lewis Dickinson) and as always it’s been very good we’ve both trained very hard for our next fights.”

Jon-Lewis Dickinson is set for a big night of his own the week after Travis’ test vs McIntosh when he faces big-hitting Neil Dawson in defence of his domestic title as part of a mammoth bill in the North East.

“Any fight is dangerous and Neil Dawson is no exception” reasons Travis on his brother’s opponent (who was beaten by Danny McIntosh last year in the Prizefighter won by Wadi Camacho). “Jon has trained harder than ever though and I honestly don’t see any cruiserweight in Britain beating him.”

Was it hard having to leave the big Newcastle show for the Channel Five tournament chance?

“It would have been nice to be on the (North East) show but this opportunity was the bigger option and not just one fight but (potentially) another two on top of that so there wasn’t any question what to do for me.”

“It would be nice if maybe one day (the Dickinson bros) could both defend our British titles on the same bill at home. That could definitely happen in the future.”

And lastly Travis thanks his sponsors for their continued support.

“I just want to thank my sponsors WM Utility services, Blast Nutrition, Gateshead college, Amy Lew hot and cold foods, Strength and Shape gym and my strength and conditioning coach Liam Watson.”

Travis Dickinson vs Danny McIntosh is this Saturday on Channel Five from 9.30pm. Also on the bill is the final quarter final match between Matty Clarkson and Lee Duncan as well as tasty support from Kid Galahad, Hughie Fury and former world champion Junior Witter.

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