UK News: Robin Reid-Dodson; Callum Johnson; Amro Ezzat
Former World Champion Adrian Dodson is ready to make his boxing comeback for Prizefighter Super-Middleweights II – and could face his 1992 Olympic teammate Robin Reid in the March 23 showdown in Liverpool.
Dodson will fight in a four-rounder this coming weekend and should he get through his first fight since September 2003, then he will line-up at Liverpool’s Olympia in the 17th edition of Matchroom Sport’s eight-man, one-night tournaments live on Sky Sports.
The Islington fighter represented Guyana in the 1988 Olympics and then made the Great Britain squad for 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Reid fought at Light-Middleweight in Spain and claimed the bronze medal, and as a result, Dodson had to drop to Welterweight in order to compete and crashed out of the event in the second round.
The 41 year-old turned professional soon after a successful amateur career and won the first 18 fights as a pro, claiming the WBO inter-continental title and defeating Lloyd Honeyghan with a third round knockout.
Dodson came unstuck against Ronald “Winky” Wright in a world title shot in 1997 but won the IBO super-middleweight title in 2001. The southpaw bowed out in 2003 following a defeat in Nottingham but explained at the Sky Sports promo shoot on Monday (March 7) that he was returning to primetime action in Prizefighter now that his sons are older – and has scores to settle in the ring.
“I’ve been a single dad of two boys for the last eight years so obviously they have been my priority,” said Dodson. “But now they are much older and things are stable in my personal life, I can come back and deal with some unfinished business.
“I feel that I underachieved from the standard I set and this is a very good platform for me to get back into the big picture. Experience will be vital in this tournament because there are a lot of talented young guns who are hungry to impress and trying to add my name to their records and I’ll be trying to remind them just who I am.”
Dodson and Reid are joined in the line-up by an ambitious crop of twenty-somethings including Liverpool duo Carl Dilks and former British champion Tony Quigley, unbeaten Welsh prospect Tobias Webb, Sheffield pair Wayne Reed and Patrick J. Maxwell and Leicester hitter Jahmaine Smyle. Dodson knows that the competition will be tough on Merseyside, but the 25-6 fighter believes that Prizefighter can be the springboard to a shot at the biggest prize around.
“I really believe that winning Prizefighter could get me back up to World title contention – that’s what I am here for,” said Dodson. “The current crop of super-middleweights in Britain is exciting but I still feel that I can mix it with the best.”
Tickets for Prizefighter Super Middleweights II at Liverpool Olympia on Wednesday 23 March are available from Matchroom Sport priced £30 unreserved, £50 ringside and £100 VIP – to buy call Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.
Johnny Eames Signs Egyptian Light Heavyweight Amro Ezzat To His TKO Stable
Over the years top British coach Johnny Eames has guided many of British boxing’s best known fighters to Championship glory. Such esteemed names as WBU Lightweight World Champion Graham Earl, WBU Super Featherweight World Champion Kevin Lear, WBU Light Heavyweight Champion Tony Oakey, British Super Bantamweight Champion Matthew Marsh are just a few of the many famous boxers benefit from the ‘Eames magic touch’.
By mid 2010 all those famous names based at Johnny’s East End fight factory, better know as the Ultrachem TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, had retired and so started the search for the new TKO stars of the future.
Over the past few months Johnny has been gradually been rebuilding his squad, which currently numbers twenty six, by signing established pros, both British and European, as well as handpicking the best of the best amateur prospects that are ready to turn over.
Earlier this week Johnny added yet another to his burgeoning stable by signing Brent Cross based Egyptian Light Heavyweight Amro Ezzat, who as an amateur Amro fought in 125 bouts and represented Egypt in many international contests.
Following the signing formalities Johnny said, “Amro, or Ham Roll as we call him up here, our new Egyptian Light Heavyweight is a great addition to the TKO stable.
He’s got international experience with Egypt but what that means I don’t really know. He’s not actually boxed in England yet.
He’s certainly keen enough. In the afternoons we’ve got six or seven Cruisers, Light Heavies and Super Middles training altogether and it’s created a sort of family atmosphere. They do their warm ups, training and sparring together. It’s created comradeship between the six or so big lads we got up here, that’s certainly only happened since Amro’s been here He’s a lovely kid, he listens and learns. Unfortunately he’s carrying a bit of a hand injury at the moment so we can’t do too much with him.
We signed him, we’re pleased we signed him. I’m pretty certain that given the right opportunities, obviously it’s going to be hard for him as he’s going to have to be an opponent as there’s not many Egyptians in Britain, not that I’m aware of anyway, but I’m certain that whether he’s an opponent or a house fighter he’ll give his all.”
JOHNSON LOOKS FORWARD TO OLD RIVAL DeGALE JOINING THE BRAEHEAD CARD
Hot-prospect Callum Johnson, 2010 Commonwealth Games champion, has welcomed the addition of James DeGale to the big Braehead Arena card on Saturday - and hasn't ruled out a showdown with the British super-middleweight king.
DeGale will feature in an eight rounder on the show, headlined by Ricky Burns' WBO World Super-Featherweight title defence against Joseph Laryea, live on Sky Sports 1HD.
Johnson, who captained the Scottish Commonwealth Games squad, is also on the undercard, and says the Olympic Champion's presence will give everyone fighting a boost.
The 25-year-old from Lincoln will feature in a four-rounder against Scunthorpe's Jody Meikle.
"He's one of the hottest talents in boxing right now, and there will be a real buzz on Saturday night," said Johnson.
"I watched the way he dealt with Paul Smith and he really impressed that night.
"It's rare for someone who has had so few professional fights to put in such a polished performance.
"I think James will definitely sprinkle some star-dust around on Saturday, and the crowd will be in for a treat."
Johnson knows how good DeGale is only too well - he lost to him as an amateur in the ABAs a few years ago.
But Johnson has been dreaming of a return ever since.
"James is obviously a quality boxer, as I found out myself!" he said.
"But I'd like to think that given my development over the next couple of years, I could one day get my own back.
"I'm fighting at light-heavyweight at the moment and he's at super-middle, so there's a pretty good chance that we will meet one day somewhere down the line.
"Given that he's won an Olympic gold, I'm a Commonwealth champion and we're both British, it's a big domestic showdown and I'm sure that it would be fight that would sell pretty well."
Johnson, 25, made his professional debut in December, recording his first victory with a second-round stoppage.
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