In a fight that would top most shows; Jon-Lewis Dickinson will be chief support to ‘Stuey’ Hall’s IBF world bantamweight title defence against Paul Butler at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on June 7, with the Gateshead man taking on Ovill McKenzie in a winner-takes-all encounter.
British cruiserweight champ Dickinson will lay it all on the line against Commonwealth ruler McKenzie, with both men putting their titles up for grabs. And with ‘Lewie’ winning the Lonsdale Belt outright at the Arena in March, on the undercard of Hall’s defence against Martin Ward, the North East fighter is hoping for another fantastic atmosphere.
“It was brilliant last time,” recalled Dickinson, who battled back from a career-ending jaw-break earlier in his career. “It was the first time I’d boxed in the Gateshead or Newcastle area and the atmosphere was terrific. The fans are great in the North East and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’m the kind of fighter that wherever I box I’ll give it everything, so I don’t need a crowd to improve my performance. But to have that support, when times are tough, is amazing and I can’t thank people enough.”
With promoter Dennis Hobson plotting a future world title route for Jon-Lewis; Derby’s McKenzie is a dangerous foe. Aptly named ‘The Upsetter’, big-hitting Ovill has won 22 of 34 bouts, and has KO’d 11 opponents. The Jamaican-born hit man has good scalps on his ledger, including former world champion Enzo Maccarinelli, and also memorably once had Tony Bellew on the seat of his shorts.
With Hall’s world title success giving a massive boost to North East boxing, Dickinson knows now is the perfect time to harness the wave. The 28-year-old is desperate to headline his own huge shows in the future, and is fully aware that McKenzie has the potential to be a dream-breaker.
“He’s very dangerous and I have to be totally switched on,” surmised Jon-Lewis, who has lost just two of 17 outings. “But I like fighting danger men. Knowing I’ve got to be switched on makes me at the top of my game, so I’m really looking forward to it. I need to beat these opponents to get to where I want to be and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“All opponents cause different problems. McKenzie is going to be dangerous early on, but [former opponent – Neil] Dawson was dangerous, as was Matty Askin. The good thing is I’ve got a dangerous brother that I spar with!
“It will definitely be an exciting fight. I’ve started to find my power, I’m maturing and everything is coming together. Our styles will gel and it’ll make for a really good fight for the fans.”
Stuart Hall defends his IBF world bantamweight title against Paul Butler at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on June 7. The undercard for the show features Birtley’s British cruiserweight champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson taking on Commonwealth ruler Ovill McKenzie. Also appearing will be Sunderland’s English lightweight champion Kirk Goodings defending his title against Sheffield’s Jamie Sampson; Guisborough’s Josh Leather; Sedgefield’s Bradley Saunders; County Durham’s Thomas Patrick Ward; Doncaster’s Dave Allen and Jason Cunningham; Sunderland’s Jordan King; and Wales’ Rhys Evans.