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Dickinson Talks Career, Eyes Future Cleverly Clash

By John Evans
 
After a busy six month period which culminated in a hard fought victory over David Dolan in May, British cruiserweight champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson, 14-2 (3 KO’s), took himself away from the sport for a well-deserved break.  While he was away, 27-year-old Dickinson’s boxing landscape completely changed.
 
David Price’s second successive defeat to Tony Thompson drove Dickinson’s long-time manager and promoter Frank Maloney into retirement, leaving the County Durham resident without a manager, promoter or TV deal.
 
Dickinson will need to wait another three months but his career is finally back on track.  His trainer, Ronnie Rowe, will now also act as his manager and in February he will have the opportunity to claim a Lonsdale belt for keeps when he faces Neil Dawson.
 
“I wanted a couple of months off but thought I’d have been able to get out in summer or later in the year,” Dickinson told Boxingscene.  “With things being as they are now — and having had Frank Maloney as my manager and promoter before he retired — it means I couldn’t get on TV.  Before that I could only fight on Frank’s shows.
 
“I suppose the TV situation has ruined things for me, really.  Frank lost his TV deal and BoxNation showed a couple of my fights, but I mustn’t have done too well!  I was on Loaded TV too before that closed down.  I seem to have been having the same conversation with people for months now. I keep saying: ‘Yeah, I’m fighting soon’.  I’m glad it’s all sorted out and I have a date.
 
“I found out Ronnie was applying for his managers licence around the same time Frank was retiring so things worked out ideally really.  BoxNation won the purse bids for this fight and maybe we’ll be able to work with other promoters and find the best deal.  I’ve got big hopes for next year.  Things could go really well.”
 
Televised quick knockouts of Tony Conquest and Chris Keane have seen Dawson, 12-2 (5 KO’s), labelled as the puncher of the British cruiserweight scene.  He is tall, rangy and enters the ring with a ‘hit or be hit’ mentality, but Dickinson is more impressed by a stoppage defeat Dawson suffered to Blackpool’s current English champion Matty Askin over two years ago.
 
“They [Conquest and Keane] were untested boxers.  They were ok but hadn’t shown that they’d been tested or boxed at a decent level.  I watched him against Askin and he gave him a good fight.  It was close until he got a bit tired I think.
 
“I’d heard from people that Conquest was a bit chinny and that if you caught him with a good shot he could go down so that wasn’t much of a surprise to me.  I think Chris Keane had him out before he walked onto one himself.  Look, if anyone walks onto a shot at this weight they’re going to be in trouble.
 
“It was my dream to win this British belt outright so once I do that in February I want to start looking towards the European or Commonwealth titles or big fights.  I don’t want to be messing about picking fights.  I want to get a big one.”
 
Dickinson’s luck really is changing. That ‘big one’ he craves has been placed directly in his path.  Former WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly’s decision to jump up to the cruiserweight division following his stoppage defeat to Sergey Kovalev is a puzzling one.  The gap between light heavyweight and cruiserweight is a big one and the Welshman wasn’t a huge puncher at 175lbs.  Cleverly is obviously looking for possible reasons behind his recent form but adding 25lbs to his admittedly slender frame is a big decision.
 
Cleverly was scheduled to make his debut in the 200lb division this Saturday, but has forced out of his Commonwealth title fight with Australian tough guy Daniel Ammann with a back injury.  The injury will allow Cleverly a little more time to consider the rise in weight.  Should he set his mind on a run at 200lb, Dickinson would relish the opportunity to face Cleverly.
 
“Aye, that’d be ideal wouldn’t it?  The division’s livening up isn’t it?  Especially with Cleverly joining in now.  We’ll have to see what he’s like I suppose.  I know he was talking about retiring after losing and now he’s decided to come back at cruiserweight.  We’ll have to see how he looks.”
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