By Terence Dooley
Eddie Hearn of Matchroom has confirmed that Liverpool's Rocky Fielding, 15-0 (8), will defend his English Super middleweight title against city rival Tony Dodson, 29-8-1 (14), at the city's Olympia venue on September 21. Derry Mathews versus Curtis Woodhouse is the headline fight, but "The Rocky From Stocky" and "The Warrior" will hope to steal the show.
Dodson, 33, lost to Paul Smith in June, a vacant British Super middleweight title fight, and was considering his future following the defeat. Fielding, 26, won the English belt by beating Carl Dilks by fifth-round stoppage last October, he defended the title courtesy of a sixth-round TKO over Wayne Reed in March and has since defeated Michal Nieroda and Darren McKenna, TKO 1 and W4 respectively.
“This is definitely going to be one of the toughest fights I have had so far,” said Fielding. “It is going to be a good fight, I have done plenty of rounds of sparring with Tony and I know how to go about him. I will stick to my boxing and look good and send a bit of a statement out that I am ready for the next step. It will be a good fight while it lasts but I am confident I will come away with the win.
“This fight will show where I am in my career, a good performance and a good win and I will see how far away I am from a bigger title and from facing Smith. I have to get this fight out of the way and put on a good performance.”
The fight will be a poignant encounter against a fighter that Fielding has supported for most of his life; he must now overcome his idol to move on with his own career. He said: “I used to meet him in a pub car park and we would drive up to the gym together and train and spar together. I have a lot of respect for him. There will be nothing over Twitter, no slagging him off. I always watched Tony throughout his career and always wanted to share a ring with him.
“As a kid I used to bunk off school to go to the gym to watch Tony spar when he was young and when he was British champion. To go from watching him as a kid, so to actually get in the ring with him now, you couldn’t write that.
“His scrap with Paul was a good one, Smith stuck to his game plan and Tony did well for the first few rounds but then he got caught and was a bit wobbly after that. Smith boxed well, made Dodson miss and countered him. He stuck to his game plan and used the ring well, it was a good fight and both of them did well.
“It is a big fight for Liverpool, the phone hasn’t stopped since it got announced. The city of Liverpool is a proper boxing city, people get behind the boxing and the Scouse lads and this is too Scouse lads fighting each other. It is an early Christmas present for them because they can sit back and watch two Scousers have it with each other. Fans in Liverpool are in for a good show.”
The clash is a genuine crossroads clash and will no doubt pique the interest of the local fans. Dodson, a former British champion, whipped himself into terrific shape for the fight with Smith and will be desperate to pick up the English belt. Fielding is keen to move on and will no doubt want to add Dodson's name to his list of victories. It all makes for an interesting showdown.
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