Tony Dodson: It’s my time

15 04 2011

Dodson: My time

It seems an age since we last saw the likeable Tony Dodson, so The Sweet Science UK sat down with Dodson to discuss his future plans in the sport and who he thinks will be the next British star.

The last time we saw Dodson in the ring, was earlier this year in the unforgettable light-heavyweight version of Prizefighter.

Sadly for Dodson things didn’t work out as he planned, who looked fantastic up until a cut cruelly forced him out.

“Yeh, I haven’t boxed since. I’ve just had to let my cuts heal.

“There is no doubt that I would have gone on to win that tournament. I was boxing great and I was far to experience for Travis (Dickinson) and that counts for a lot. You only need to see my previous fights to know I would have beaten him.

“But since the Prizefighter, I’ve just been ticking over and trying to stay in shape. I’m just looking forward to fighting again to be honest.”

Dodson will be looking to face Darren Stubbs for the English title after he officially moved up to the light-heavy weight division, which he believes is the right division for him.

“Hopefully this fight will take place at the end of May.

“I should have moved up to this weight like five years ago. I have no doubts that I’ll win a title here, I’m made for this weight class.

“The overall goal is just to keep winning, working myself up those rankings and if a title shot comes; I’m going to grab it with both hands.”

Talk soon turned to the state of British boxing and the next few fights of our current stars, with Dodson giving us his opinion and prediction.

James DeGale v George Groves:

“I think Groves will beat DeGale via KO.”

Amir Khan v Paul McCloskey:

“Khan will win inside 6 rounds.”

Nathan Cleverly v Juergen Braehmer:

“Cleverly’s fight is the toughest by far but I think he has the tools to beat this guy either by late stoppage or points.”

He also predicted previous opponent Carl Froch to win the Super Six tournament and declared Froch a “class act”.

“When I was growing up I looked up to Tyson but now it’s the likes of David Haye and Carl Froch. They’re the best at what they do. They’re so professional when it comes to the training and the way the hold themselves in public. Real role models.”

Dodson also predicted Martin Murray to become Britain’s next big boxing star.

“Murry is world class and a proper nice fella.”


Sprott for Britain

11 04 2011

Sprott: Massive chance

British hopes will rest on the shoulders of Michael Sprott when he takes part in Prizefighters International Heavyweight show.

Sprott, who is the current domestic heavyweight champion of Prizefighter, has signed up for the May 7 tournament to replace Prizefighter’s inaugural champion, Martin Rogan.

The tournament will follow the same format, 8 boxers who square off until the final two meet for the £32,000 prize money.

Sprott, who defeated Matt Skelton to win the last heavyweight Prizefighter tournament hasn’t been seen in a UK ring since. Instead he has been over in Germany sparring with none other than Vitali Klitschko for three weeks, before claiming a unanimous decision over Turkish boxer Serdar Uysal in March.

Sprotts career hasn’t quite taken off as he would have liked after winning Prizefighter in the way it did for Audley Harrison and Rogan; who both earned shots for notable titles.

However Sprott believes Prizefighter gives him the perfect chance to put himself back on the map. He told Sky Sports: “I’m definitely ready to fly the flag for Britain, it’s going to be great mixing it with all the other countries, it adds a different twist to the night and I want to come out on top.

“I was hoping to get a big shot after winning the last Prizefighter I was in, but people avoided me. I know that if I win this Prizefighter with these big names in the line-up then surely I won’t be denied.”

This is definitely Sprotts last chance to make an impact, as at the age of 36 there aren’t going to be too many chances after this for him. Sprott will have his work cut out for him but I can see no reason why he can’t go and win the thing and maybe get that title shot he has desperately been looking for.

I mean if Fraudley can get a title chance, then surely no-one would begrudge Sprott his chance.

American Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson, whose only loss came on points against Vitali Klitschko, Irish-based Cuban Mike ‘The Rebel’ Perez, a knock-out artist, and German Konstantin Airich, a former Danny Williams opponent, are the other confirmed fighters.

Check out Sprott in his last Prizefighter fight below:

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

Rocky blasts his way through

24 03 2011

Rocky Fielding: Prizefighter champ

Local lad Rocky Fielding was the surprise package as he won the super-middleweight Prizefighter in Liverpool tonight (Wednesday 23 March).

Fielding upset the odds as he blasted his way to the £32,000 prize fund by beating Tobias Webb in the final.

Fielding had to get past knock-out artist Patrick J Maxwell and Joe Ainscough before stopping Webb in the final and becomes the first man to win all his fights through stoppage. Webb, who had the harder route, beat former world champion Robin Reid and Jahmaine Smyle.

You could tell Webbs last fight (against Smyle) took it out of him and Fielding was very smart by attacking the body of his weary opponent. Webb just couldn’t handle it and dropped to his knees after Rocky landed a fantastic hook to the body with just 20 seconds left on the round one clock.

Webb was then saved by the bell after another knockdown, but his corner decided enough was enough.

This was the definitely the right call as Webb had nothing left to give and was really drained because of his two previous fights.

The first fight of the night saw knock-out artist Maxwell face off against Fielding. The first round began really scrappy, but Rocky took the centre of the ring and began trading with the big puncher. In the second round, Fielding again took the centre of the ring and landed some great shots, dropping Maxwell twice before the referee called a halt to the fight.

The second fight of the night was probably the most controversial as Ainscough beat Wayne Reed via split decision, despite Ainscough being dropped in the third. If I’m honest this was the worse fight of the night, with neither fighter displaying any real skill. Ainscough came out swinging wildly, displaying no defence while the cocky Reed wasn’t good enough (despite some of his earlier predictions) to exploit the obvious lack of defence from Ainscough. Even so, I thought Reed won the second and third rounds and was surprised as anyone to see Ainscough progress.

The third fight saw former world champ Reid take on Webb. Reid was disappointing in this fight, looking very sloppy and always looking to tie up when on the inside. I take nothing away from Webb who thoroughly deserved it, but Reid looked a shadow of his former self and should definitely stick to retirement.

In another shock, pre-tournament favourite Carl Dilks lost via a split decision to Smyle in the final quarter-final. Dilks looked as though he hadn’t recovered from the pounding DeGale gave him and despite winning the first round, was pressed back throughout the fight by the stronger Smyle. Smyle had Dilks rocking in the second but couldn’t finish the job but continued to press forward to take the split decision win.

The first semi-final saw Rocky blast past Ainscough in the first round. Despite knocking Ainscough down, the referee declared it wasn’t to be as he felt Rocky pushed Ainscough down but I’m still not sure. But Rocky wasn’t to be denied and continued to land some brutal shots, resulting in two cuts (one above the right eye and one between both eyes) which forced the referee to stop the fight in round one.

Webb came through another exhausting fight with Smyle but did enough to claim a unanimous points victory. Webb moved well throughout the fight and picked his shots well as Smyle continued to come forward time and time again, despite a cut on his mouth.

However the night belonged to local lad Rocky Fielding, who entered this tournament at short notice. He blasted his way through the tournament and was a deserved winner.

Prizefighter: Super-Middleweights Preview

23 03 2011

Prizefighter: Super Middleweight

It’s back again, the exciting knock out tournament returns tonight (Wednesday 23 March) and it’s the return of the Super-Middleweights.

Everyone should be familiar with the format by now but for those of you that don’t, the format consists of 8 fighters who will compete in four quarter-finals. There will be 3 rounds, each lasting 3 minutes. And of course the winners of the quarter-finals will then face off in the semi-finals, with the 2 winners of those facing each other in the final for £32,000.

So enough of that, lets introduce the 8 fighters.

Tobias Webb

The nephew of former WBO and WBU cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli. His record stands at (4-0-1) and Enzo has backed his nephew to win Prizefighter and go onto bigger and better things. Webb holds an impressive win over former Prizefighter champ, Patrick Mendy. The man from Swansea sure has his hands full in his first fight, which pits him against former world champion Robin Reid. And if he manages to get by him, he will have to face Carl Dilks in the semi’s, so it’s not going to be easy for the youngster.

Then we have Webbs’ first opponent;

Robin Reid

Easily the biggest name in the tournament, which could prove to be a burden. Reid is a former Olympic bronze medalist, but hasn’t fought in over 4 years since he lost to current world champion, Carl Froch. Reid is in great shape but after being out of the ring for so long, his sharpness and reflexes might not be there and this is surely just one final shot at glory for the former world champ.

Carl Dilks

Then we have tournament favourite, and my personal pick. You might remember Dilks from last December when he lost via a first round TKO to James DeGale. Now none of the fighters in this tournament are anywhere near the calibre of DeGale and Dilks, who has previous experience of the Prizefighter format, could well see himself in the final so long as he is focussed and doesn’t freeze.

His opponent will be;

Jahmaine Smyle

His record stands at (3-1-1) and is considered one of the bigger punchers in this tournament, which is always handy. His only loss has come against fellow Prizefighter competitor Wayne Reed and will surely be looking for revenge. Sadly I don’t think Smyle will get the chance to avenge his defeat because I don’t think he has the required skills to get past Dilks. But he definitely has the punchers chance, so watch this space.

Joe Ainscough

Now this guy has some story. Following a promising start to his career 2 years ago, Ainscough was stabbed twice from behind after he tried to intervene in a disturbance outside a pub in Liverpool. Doctors told the boxer he would never step foot in the ring again, but 2 years on, and following Adrian Dodson dropping out of the competition, Ainscough has the shot at a fairytale ending.

His first opponent will be;

Wayne Reed

He already boasts a victory over Jahmaine Smyle. His current record stands at (5-1) and isn’t really expected to make an impact in this tournament but if he can get the better of Ainscough, his side of the draw is quite favourable and with a bit of luck, he could find himself in the final.

Patrick J Maxwell

Boasts 11 KO’s in 16 wins and is definitely “the puncher” of the tournament. Most of Maxwell’s opponents have been journeymen and a quality operator could seriously trouble him. But with that sort of KO record you wouldn’t back against him but he faces a tall order (literally) against his opponent;

Rocky Fielding

He has only had 3 fights (all ending in a win) and boasts a superior height advantage over Maxwell, which he will have to use to his advantage if he is to progress.

Click Part 1 and Part 2 to see the preview of Prizefighter: Super-Middleweight “The Last Man Standing”.

Don’t forget to tune into Sky Sports 1 at 8pm for the tournament and be sure to check back on the site for a round-up of the nights action.

Comment below on who you believe will win this Prizefighter tournament.

Sykes shows true heart

5 03 2011

Sykes: Climbs off canvas to retain title

Gary Sykes managed to pick himself up off the canvas to retain his British super-featherweight title following an exciting clash with Carl Johanneson at the Huddersfield Leisure Centre.

Sykes survived a scare in round nine when Johanneson floored him and came through to win a unanimous points decision. (116-112, 115-112 and 115,113).

The Dewsbury born fighter, making his first appearance since his surprise knock-out loss in Prizefighter last November, ended the round stronger; landing several body shots.

The pattern continued through the next rounds as Sykes continued to out-work his Yorkshire rival, landing a barrage of right hooks to the body in the second and a powerful left hook to the head in the third.

However the tide was about to turn as Sykes seemed to tire in the fourth as Johanneson began landing some forceful hooks to the body and head of the champion.

There wasn’t much to choose between the two in the fifth, with Sykes starting quickly and landing several fast combinations. But as Sykes seemed to tire, Johanneson began landing the more telling punches and just shaded the round.

Much like the previous round, there wasn’t much to separate the fighters until the champion ended the round well, backing his opponent up against the ropes.

Most of the action took place in the centre of the ring in round seven with both fighters standing toe to toe and trading in what was building into an epic encounter. Johanneson managed to hurt the champion as he landed a huge overhand right to the side of his head.

The eighth round saw more back and forth action as Sykes started quickly; landing sharp fast punches. But as the round wore on, Sykes began to look tired as he began to feel the power behind Johannesons’ punches.

Then came the ninth round; the best round of the night. The action was slowing down as both fighters sought to regain their composure and stamina when, out of nowhere, Johanneson landed a ferocious right hand which sent the champion crashing to the canvas.

Sykes managed to beat the count and in remarkable fashion; ended the round the stronger as he backed his rival up against the ropes once more.

Following a few choice words from his corner, Sykes began the 10th round in explosive fashion; landing several fast combinations as he moved in and out of range superbly.

The 11th saw more of the same as Sykes upped the work-rate, landing a number of good body shots and using his quick combinations to good effect.

Heading into the final round, and the tie still very much in the balance, Sykes seized the initiative as he out-boxed Johanneson for the final round to retain his title in what was an epic contest between the Yorkshire rivals.