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UK News: Sean Dodd, Shaquille Day, Lewis Crocker, Benson

After appearing on the big stage, you might think Sean Dodd would be reluctant to go back to the small hall circuit again.  For the last few years, the 34-year-old has been a regular fixture on big arena shows live on Sky Sports, but ‘Masher’ says he can’t wait to tread the boards again at the Liverpool Olympia on November 30.

The upcoming VIP Promotions card is headlined by a fan-friendly clash between local prospects Liverpool’s Tom McGuinness and Skelmersdale’s Colin Day yet, despite being a former Commonwealth Lightweight and WBC International Champion, Dodd has no problems appearing on the undercard and knows from experience the atmosphere will be electric.

“To be honest, I’m more excited to be on a small hall show,” said the popular Birkenhead fighter.  “I’m looking forward to being in the thick of it amongst all the up and coming local talent.  I know what the atmosphere will be like - it will be really lively - because these shows are what I had to do to earn the Sky Sports shots.  To be honest it can be a bit lonely on those big shows.  I’ve been looking forward to getting back on the VIP shows for a while now, I really have.”

Dodd, 15-4-1 (3), goes into the Olympia show on the back of two losses.  In August he was beaten by rising star Joe Cordina; but losing his Commonwealth belt inside-the-distance to Hull’s Tommy Coyle in April is a defeat that still smarts.

With wins over former GB Team Captain, Tom Stalker, and the new European champion Francesco Patera on his ledger, as well as two highly contentious losses to Scott Cardle – Masher is still convinced he has more to give, and says his chase for titles isn’t finished yet.

“When I first started boxing I was doing it for the love of it and for how it was changing my life around.  But then I started learning and improving and beating people that, on paper, should have been wiping the floor with me, and I was winning titles.  I’ve won the Commonwealth and the WBC International, I’ve beaten a former world title challenger, and the current European champion.  It’s definitely made me realise that there’s more to me.

“I lost to Tommy Coyle, and I’ll never take credit away from him, but Tommy didn’t beat me at my best.  I defended the Commonwealth belt fantastically against Tom Stalker, but I just wasn’t there for the Coyle fight.  Tommy beat me fairly, but to lose it knowing I wasn’t in there giving myself the best chance is hard.

“In my head, Patera is now the European champion and I’ve beaten him, and if I’d done what I know I’m capable of then I could have beaten Tommy Coyle as well.  So, I feel that I want to go and win the European Title now, and I’d still like to win the British as well.  I’ve got my heart set on the European or British, either one.  It feels like I should have had the British before anyway [against Scott Cardle]; I feel I was robbed of that, and I do feel like I can go to European level.”

“It’s good to have Masher on this Liverpool show,” said promoter Steve Wood.  “He’s had a great career already, and has some good wins.  When you look at what Patera did to Lewis Ritson recently, then you can see how good Masher’s win over him now looks.

“He also should have been the British champion when most people thought he won the second Cardle fight.  He recently accepted a fight with Cardle on the Bellew and Usyk undercard at just ten days notice, but Cardle’s team opted for Ricky Burns instead.  We’ll ease Masher back in, then go chasing belts again in 2019.

“I’m really looking forward to this Liverpool card, the headliner between McGuinness and Day will be a great clash of styles, it’s a 50-50 fight and both will give it everything.  And with the likes of Masher on the undercard, it’s going to be a really good night of boxing.”

VIP Promotions presents an evening of boxing at the Liverpool Olympia on November 30.

Headlining will be Liverpool’s Tom McGuinness versus Sklemersdale’s Colin Day.

Also appearing will be Liverpool’s Luke Willis, Sean Cairns, Marcel Braithwaite, Jay Farrell, Matthew Rennie and James Collins; Birkenhead’s Sean Dodd; Wales’ Cameron Halfpenny; and Warrington’s Mike Mckay.

Shaquille Day is bidding to move to 10-0 at The Brentwood Centre on Saturday night and is revving up for a title-laden 2019.
 
The 24-year-old Londoner – known as ‘The Black Mexican’ – takes on Nathan Hardy on an MTK Global fight night to be broadcast live on iFL TV and is eager to serve up another reminder of his undoubted talents.
 
Day said: “I’m excited to be back out in Brentwood. Boxing regularly is key. I want to get my consistency flowing and my record ticking over.
 
“You could say Brentwood is becoming my fortress but I’ve actually had more fights at York Hall. This is my third in a row at Brentwood and it’s a wicked venue with a wicked atmosphere.
 
“I hope I’ve had my last four-rounder now because I’ve learned my trade. In six-rounders, hopefully I can start getting people out of there. I want to show people what I have in the locker.
 
“I’m going to drop down to welterweight and have championship fights at welterweight but right now, I’m underrated as a super-welterweight. I’ll let them sleep on me for now because they’ll all know who ‘The Black Mexican’ is by the end of 2019.
 
“My ideal 2019 would be to go into the New Year with a six or eight-rounder and then go for some sort of title or eliminator – just something to get me out there so people know who I am.
 
“I’m waiting for my time to come and when it does come, we’ll be more than ready. I’ll show people what I’ve been working all these years in the gym for.”
 
Joining Day on a busy Brentwood card are MTK Global team-mates Liam Wells, Bradley Haxell, Josh Adewale, Martin McDonagh plus more.

Belfast welterweight Lewis Crocker will take on another undefeated fighter in Martin Harkin for the vacant BBBofC Celtic title at the city’s Titanic Exhibition Centre on December 7.
 
The 21-year-old ‘Croc’ (7-0-KO6) has caused a stir with a string of brutal knockouts and gets a chance to fight for his first title in front of his home fans on the MTK Global show – live on iFL TV.
 
Across the ring will stand Scottish visitor Harkin (8-0-KO2), who was most recently in action against Chris Jenkinson; the Welshman retiring in the second round.
 
Crocker said of his opponent: “It’s a big step up for me but these are the kind of fights I want now. I’m really looking forward to December 7 and I’m keen to put on a show.
 
“I know Harkin’s record but I don’t look into it much. All I know is he’s going to come to win and it’s going to be a good fight. I’m expecting a tough, tough night’s work.
 
“Anything can happen on the night. It’s all about tactics and gameplan. We want to give the Belfast fans a night to remember.
 
“It’s a breakout opportunity for me. If I get this one out of the way then there are big potential fights for me next year but I’m not looking past Harkin in any way.”
 
Crocker, who is seen by Belfast boxing heroes Carl Frampton and Michael Conlan as one of the brightest talents in the sport, is joined on the card by gym-mates Steven Donnelly and Padraig McCrory.
 
Headlining another colossal night of boxing in the city is Conrad Cummings vs. Brian Rose for the vacant WBO European middleweight title – with the likes of Tyrone McCullagh, Paddy Gallagher, Sean McComb, Gary Cully, Phil Sutcliffe Jr and Steve Collins Jr on the undercard.

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Lewis Benson has dismissed Tyrone McKenna’s claims he can win the Glasgow crowd when the pair clash at Emirates Arena on November 30.
 
Scotland’s Benson (10-1-KO2) plays host to Belfast McKenna (16-1-1-KO6) but with ‘The Mighty Celt’ basing his training camp in Glasgow, the visitor is expected to enjoy a degree of support on the night.
 
According to ‘Kid Caramel’, though, it will stop well short of fulfilling McKenna’s prophecy that he’ll turn Benson’s fans into his own with his entertaining style.
 
Benson said: “He says he’s going to steal my fans but how likely is that? There’s one chance of that happening and that’s ‘no chance.’ My team supports me through everything and they’ll be there in their numbers. They’ll make some noise and Tyrone will know all about it.
 
“The support I receive is unbelievable. I’m just buzzing to get into Glasgow and put on the performance of a lifetime. Everyone wants one of their own to win and I’m sure I’m going to get a great win for Scotland.
 
“This is just a massive night for Scottish boxing. MTK Global is getting properly involved and the match-making on the card is unbelievable. There are some top fights on the night and I’m thrilled to be involved with one of them.”
 
As well as firing back at McKenna, Benson addressed a social media exchange with his opponent’s gym-mate Paddy Barnes.
 
Benson added: “Paddy Barnes is Paddy Barnes. You have to take everything he has to say with a pinch of salt. He’s a good laugh.
 
“He’s an amazing gym-mate and I respect every one of them in that gym because they back each other.
 
“Nothing that Paddy, Tyrone or any of his other friends say will bother me. They’re just being there for their friend and Tyrone needs that because he knows what’s going to happen when we step in the ring.”
 
McKenna vs. Benson takes place on a stacked card with Ukashir Farooq vs. Iain Butcher for the British bantamweight title, Kieran Smith vs. Peter McDonagh for the WBC International Silver super-welterweight title plus David Brophy, Reece McFadden, Michael McGurk, Jack Turner and more.

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