We are now just days away from the biggest night of the North East boxing calendar as Sunderland’s David Dolan gets set to challenge Birtley’s British cruiserweight champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson.
The two square off for Dickinson’s title on Friday night at the Rainton Meadows Arena in what is certain to be the biggest and best North East card of the year. It is also televised live on Loaded TV, Sky channel 200.
The two big men met back in the summer of 2011 on Phil Jeffries’ Summer Rumble bill in an extremely tight clash that Dickinson just nicked on points, claiming the Northern Area title in the process.
Since then Dickinson has gone on to become the 200lb British champion and has decide his first defence, which is not mandatory, should be against his old nemesis David Dolan.
David is no novice when it comes to British title fights though as he has twice challenged for it, both times unsuccessfully against Rob Norton.
The first in February 2009 ended with Dolan losing a via a unanimous points decision but it was their second clash that was far more controversial.
Again on points Dolan was denied in January 2010 but this time the result was given as a draw even though it was quite obvious that David had dominated and should have won that fight. The current champion Dickinson thinks his next opponent actually won both Norton fights.
This is a third crack at the Lonsdale belt for the 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medalist but at 33 he is refusing to consider retirement should he fall short again.
Frank Maloney co-hosts this show with Phil Jeffries and the undercard is stacked with plenty of talent including a few local lads.
Look out for the all-North East clash between Peter Cope and David Lake. The two styles of these fighters should mix very well and that clash can be expected to be fight of the night.
Cope, of Hartlepool, is 6-0 and probably possesses the greater boxing skills of the two but hasn’t boxed since beating Gavin Reid in July of last year.
Lake, though, is a warrior and a lot more talented than his 3-3 record suggests. He showed that in September when he was defeated by another young local boxer Tommy Ward. Lake will probably come forward in this six-rounder and bring the fight to Cope and if Cope’s war with Reid is anything to go by, the two could find themselves trading a lot.
David Lake’s stable mate Anthony ‘Babyface’ Nelson will also be on the bill. The Mal Gates’ trained heavy puncher is now 4-0 and continues his development with a four-rounder against Francis Croes (1-19). Look out for Anthony because he is rarely in a boring fight and both he and David are guaranteed to come in peak physical condition under Mal.
Like Cope, Craig Dixon (who boxes under the name Robert) has not boxed since July’s Summer Rumble and he is also 6-0. The Birtley Bullet takes a step up to the six-rounders on Friday against unbeaten Marek Laskowski, albeit after only one fight.
Paul Archer finally gets back into the ring after a pull-out cost him a television date on the undercard of David Price/ Matt Skelton last November. Archer, who is 6-0, will fight 6×3’s for the first time against the experienced Kevin McCauley.
Northern Area lightweight champion Gary Fox is also in action on the bill as is Dickinson’s brother Travis. Fans will also get the chance to see two rising stars from outside the North East in Scotland’s heavyweight prospect Gary Cornish and Scarborough’s Danny Price.
*Make sure to check back over the coming days as we have interviews with some of the boxers on the bill, including headliners Jon-Lewis Dickinson and David Dolan.