By Elliot Foster
Sean Dodd is perfectly on track for his big night.
The Birkenhead lightweight warmed up at Prenton Park, the home of his beloved Tranmere Rovers Football Club, ahead of his showdown with Thomas Stalker next month.
The pair meet at the ECHO Arena on September 30, exclusively live on Sky Sports, with ‘Masher’s’ WBC International and Commonwealth belts at stake.
But the 32-year-old former two-time British title challenger dispatched of Antonio Horvati? in an eight-round tick-over on Saturday before going in against the ex-Team GB Olympic captain.
Dodd was calm and controlled, something that many haven’t seen from him in recent outings, as his primary focus was to get rid of the Croatian import and get out of the ring unscathed.
Horvati? threw a few jabs but the lack of class in the former Mitchell Smith victim and the class of Dodd told early on.
“There were times when I felt like getting into a fight with him,” Dodd said afterwards. “But I knew that if I was to come out healthy, I’d have to stick to the game plan.
“I’d watched this kid and I knew that he would come forward with a tight guard and that the uppercut followed by the body shot would work.”
And work it did.
Horvati?, competing in his 50th professional outing, was given a standing count in the second and was down three times in the third round before the referee Mark Lyson called a halt to proceedings having seen enough.
Next up for Dodd is the crunch clash with Stalker, which comes on the undercard of Paul Butler’s rematch with Stuart Hall in an eliminator for the WBA bantamweight world title, and he is now focused on getting back into camp and ready for fight night.
“It was good to fight in front of my friends and family at the home of my football club,” he continued.
“We got the job done and now it’s time to get ready for ‘Talker’ next month.”
Mark Evans and Ricky Starkey produced an entertaining display on the undercard. The pair were set to go at it over six rounds at super-featherweight, but it ended in less than three after the bloodied Evans –– who looked like losing the fight from the opening bell due to Starkey’s slick boxing –– came back from the brink to drop the ‘Battalion Stallion’ twice, once heavily, in the third round and forced referee Darren Sarginson to end the fight after one minute and 16 seconds of the stanza.
Colin Day, in just his third outing in the paid code, was very impressive as he stopped Steven Backhouse –– a former Conor Benn victim –– inside two rounds, dropping his man twice in what proved to be the final round.
And there were wins for No Limits pair Ged Carroll and Thomas McGuinness, while Brendan Kenwright was a 39-38 victor on his professional debut.