News April 2019

Neil Dawson - "There's no way Jon Lewis Dickinson can beat me"

By @John_Evans79


Over the past 18 months, Neil Dawson has emerged as one of British boxingís most dangerous Ė and underrated Ė fighters.

Despite entering each fight as the betting underdog, Dawson, 12-2 (5 KOís), has knocked out Tony Conquest and Chris Keane and outpointed Menay Edwards. With victories over three of his main domestic rivals behind him, it should come as no surprise that the Rotherham cruiserweight heads in to this weekendís British title fight with Jon Lewis Dickinson brimming with confidence.

ďIíve definitely boxed better kids than Jon Lewis Dickinson,Ē Dawson told Livefight. ďTony Conquest, Chris Keane and Menay Edwards are all in the top ten. By the time I box Jon Lewis, Iíll have boxed five of the top ten. Iím definitely full of confidence. Heís gonna box me the same way he does everybody else. Heís gonna wait for me to come in, try and hit me with one twos and then try and tie me up. I donít think he can do anything different.

ďThatís what weíre working on and whoís to say he can out jab me? Iíve got a good, fast jab. Heís got now height or reach advantages over me so if I can win the battle of the jabs Iím halfway there.Ē

After building a solid reputation in the sport - and an 8-0 record - the pressure of trying to support a young family forced Dawson, 33, to take a six year break from the sport in 2005. Since returning to action, Dawson has taken on arguably the toughest workload of any British cruiserweight. The only two defeats on his record may have come during this period - Matty Askin stopped him in the second fight of his comeback and Danny McIntosh outpointed him in a Prizefighter tournament Ė but on the whole, Dawson has acquitted himself extremely well and reinvented himself as the divisionís puncher.

Dickinson, 14-2 (3 KOís), has proved himself to be a quality British champion and has added some much need stability to Britainís cruiserweight division. Since taking the vacant British title by outpointing Shane McPhilbin, the 27 year old has outpointed local rival David Dolan and Mike Stafford. Dolan and Stafford are solid operators but maybe rely on desire and effort than talent. Dawson has his heart set on the British title but also possesses genuine one punch power.

ďThey [Dolan and Stafford] were a lot shorter and Jon Lewis had a lot of physical advantages over them. I think Iím a bit taller than him so heís not gonna have reach or height over me. If you watch those fights you can see he used that against them. He hits and holds them as they come in but heís not gonna be able to do that with me.

ďFor me personally looking at it, unless Jon Lewis Dickinson is a lot better than he looks in his fights, thereís no chance he can beat me. Iíve had miles better wins than him. Tony Conquest has just won the Commonwealth title, heís not like that Mike Stafford whoís never won a thing in his life.

ďThereís another thing thatís in my favour. Look at both our records and count how many people Iíve knocked to the floor. I donít know how many Iíve had! I knocked Conquest down and Chris Keane down. I knocked Menay Edwards down. Tony Moran was down a couple of times. I donít think Jon Lewis Dickinson has put anyone on the floor apart from in Prizefighter. It was Mark Krence I think. [Writers note, Dickinson also put Nick Okoth down three times that same night].

ďI work a lot better on the inside than Jon Lewis Dickinson does. Like I say, without him being a lot better when I get in the ring with him than I actually think he is, Iím full of confidence.Ē

A series of delays mean that once the first bell rings, it will be over ten months since Dawson beat Keane. The last time Dawson returned from a lengthy lay off [admittedly, six years is a lot longer than ten months] he tired badly after a bright start against Matty Askin and was stopped. Dawson insists that he isnít worried about losing any momentum that had built behind him and that he wonít be affected by his lack of action.

ďWhat did happen in the Askin fight was that I didnít pace myself. Even though it might not look like it, in the Chris Keane and Conquest fightís I did actually pace myself,Ē he laughs. ďI was just waiting for them to come forward. In the Askin fight I went forward from the word go which I wonít do this time. I know that canít happen.

ďThat [the Askin fight] happened when I first came back and Iím hitting a lot harder now than I was then. Iíve had a lot of good training for this fight too. The fight was meant to be in October in the first place. Then it was December, then January and then it got moved to this one. I havenít been in the gym for five or six days a week all that time but I have been in the gym. I havenít been doing the things I shouldnít be doing though like going out drinking and having weeks off the gym. Iíve just been training.

ďAnother advantage for me is that I donít have to lose any weight. Jon Lewis Dickinson will be bloated between fights and half of this training camp will be trying to lose weight. Half of their battle and half of their mindset is on losing weight. Mine isnít. I can eat what I want and BFN Nutrition have helped me with my nutrition and supplements and Iíve had a diet plan since Christmas. Iím really confident about the fight and Iím looking forward to it.

ďWhat Iíve always said is that Iíve verged on British title fights before and when it gets to it, if I can go in there with no regrets as in thinking ĎI wish I could have done this or thatí then even if I lose Iíll walk away a happy man. Thatís how Iím going in to it. Iíve had decent sparring, Iíve trained and trained, done my sprints and had a dietician. I should be in the form of my life and there is definitely no reason why I canít win it.

ďItíll not be dull! Iíll have a couple of rounds feeling him out and then go back to my old style. Take his head off!Ē

World Championship Boxing - Clash of the Clans

Dennis Hobson Promotions & Queensbury Promotions presents Stuart Hall defending his IBF bantamweight world title against Martin Ward atNewcastle's Metro Radio Arena on March 29th.

The exciting undercard for the show includes Birtley's Jon-Lewis Dickinson defending his British cruiserweight title against big-punching Neil Dawson. Also in action will be British and Commonwealth welterweight king Frankie Gavin; Sunderland's English lightweight champion Kirk Goodings against Sheffield's Jamie Sampson; Sedgefield's rising starBradley Saunders; Sunderlandís Jonson McClumpha versus Dronfield's Lewis Taylor; County Durham's Thomas Patrick Ward; Hartlepool's Michael Hadfield; Middlesbroughís Simon Vallily; Guisborough's Josh Leather; Doncaster's Dave Allen, and Sunderland's Jordan King.

The show will be televised by BoxNation. Sky channel 437 and in HD on channel 490.

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