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Tony Dodson: There is no way another Liverpool fighter will beat me



Local derby adds needle says former British champion ahead of Commonwealth clash with Fielding

Tony Dodson says there is no way he will allow another Liverpool boxer to defeat him ahead of his Commonwealth Super Middleweight title clash with Rocky Fielding at the Echo Arena on March 15, live on Sky Sports.

The former British champion has previously lost in title fights against fellow Merseyside fighters Tony Quigley and Paul Smith. Dodson challenges former gym mate and friend Fielding for his Commonwealth title next month and ahead of the massive derby fight has admitted he fears being known as ‘the man who has lost to every Liverpool fighter that he ever boxed’.

“I shared a gym with Rocky for three years and we travelled every day in the car together,” said Dodson. “I know the lad and I get on with him away from boxing, but I think he has been untested. The people he has boxed, and I don’t want to sound like I am being a pig-headed, horrible person but, he has boxed no-one. He has boxed lads who are absolute bums, with losing records. So how can he even talk about moving on to World stage when he hasn’t beaten anyone of any calibre?

“At the end of the day I suppose you can only beat what is put in front of you, so Rocky has done his job, fair play to him. But let’s have it right, what people don’t understand, is I got Rocky his chance. Because of my relationship with Matchroom, I took Rocky to the John Watson v Anthony Crolla fight in Liverpool and introduced him to a few people, and from that he got into the Super Middleweight Prizefighter, which he won.

“Rocky is a different fighter from the fighter I knew and trained with, because he has come on leaps and bounds. He has really done well since I left Oliver’s gym.

“It is fantastic to have these fights from a fan’s point of view. From a personal point of view it is exciting, it adds a needle. Most of the time you are nervous for a fight anyway but with it being at home against another home fighter, there is more at stake – it is a derby. In your own city, where people know you and you have to walk around the street, you don’t want to be ‘there’s Tony Dodson who has lost to every Liverpool fighter that he ever boxed’.

“There was a time when I was an amateur when I wouldn’t even box in my area because nobody would fight me, because I had won so many things by stoppage. I was outstanding. People would pull out of fights before we got into the ring, so to actually get beaten by Paul [Smith] and Tony [Quigley] as a pro makes me one, annoyed, and two, makes me want to do that little bit better to improve my all-round game. There is no way another Liverpool fighter will beat me – it’s not happening, I am too good for that.”

A stacked card in Liverpool sees Tony Bellew face former World Cruiserweight title challenger Valery Brudov in his first fight at his new weight on a massive night for Liverpool’s boxing stars.

Stephen Smith is expected to challenge Fernando David Saucedo for the Argentinian’s WBC Silver Featherweight title in a crunch eliminator bout, while his older brother Paul and the youngest Smith, Callum, will also be in action.

Sheffield Welterweight star Kell Brook and popular London Lightweight Kevin Mitchell have both enjoyed great nights in the Echo Arena and the pair will both be back out in Liverpool as they build towards big fights before the summer.

Birmingham’s unbeaten Super Flyweight talent Kal Yafai continues on his path to a first title shot, while exciting Liverpool youngster Robbie Davies Jnr faces his fifth pro fight.

Tickets are on sale now priced £30, £40, £60 and ringside seats at £100 available from the Echo Arena on 0844 8000 400 and at www.echoarena.com

VIP tickets priced at £150 are exclusively available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com