Shane McPhilbin wants back something he feels was taken from him unfairly – the British cruiserweight title.
In a dramatic contest that saw both men hit the deck, Shane wrenched the belt from former champion Leon ’Solid’ Williams via a final round KO in January this year.
Just two months later, however, in his first defence against Enzo Maccarinelli, McPhilbin found himself on the wrong end of a genuine ring injustice.
Having already put Enzo over, and with the Welshman out on his feet and on the verge of being stopped, the bell to end the first round was tolled 47 seconds early! Consequently, with that early, unfair respite proving long enough for Maccarinelli to recover his senses, Shane ultimately ended up losing his crown via a 12 round points decision.
Throw into the mix too, then, that Enzo was also banned after the bout for failing a random drugs test and you can understand that Shane, 8-3 (5), feels hard done by that he won’t be facing County Durham’s Jon-Lewis Dickinson as British champion when the pair meet for the vacant title at the Liverpool’s Echo Arena on October 13.
Part of an undercard that is headlined by David Price defending his British heavyweight title against Audley Harrison; McPhilbin versus Dickinson has all the hallmarks of a great domestic dust-up.
Below is a Q and A with Shane as he heads into the contest:
How frustrating has the whole Enzo Maccarinelli situation been for you?
It’s done my head in a bit, obviously with the drug test and all that.
I think the fight should have gone down as a ’No Contest’ because it just makes a farce of everything. It’s kind of upsetting for me as well, because I don’t want to be involved in anything that corrupts boxing.
It hasn’t affected my mind-set going into this fight though and I’ve pretty much forgotten all about it now.
Is Jon-Lewis Dickinson a tougher test than Maccarinelli?
I would say he is, yes. Jon-Lewis Dickinson is hungry for it; he’s a good fighter.
He’s a very good stand up boxer. He likes to come forward and he looks like he’s got a bit of a punch on him. I’ve boxed tall boxers before though who’ve been 16 or 17 stones so it doesn’t really affect me much and I’ll just get on with it. I’m expecting a hard fight, a 50-50 fight, but I still believe that I’ve got enough in the tank to win the British title again.
What do you bring to the table – what are your strengths?
I like to try and get in there and mix it up, try to take them out early, but we’re working on a few things in the gym now and hopefully you’ll see a different fighter than the one against Enzo Maccarinelli.
Have you learned anything from the Enzo fight to take into the Dickinson bout?
Yes, make sure the timekeeper’s not dyslexic! Also to be strong, fit and well on the day rather than going in there unfit.
You’re fighting on a huge card in front of thousands - how much are you looking forward to it?
It’s going to be the biggest arena I’ve ever fought in, so I’m really looking forward to it and have got a real buzz about it. I’m very confident that I’m going to win. I want that belt back and to move on to bigger and better things. I know it’s going to be a hard fight but I’ve got the tools on the day to bring the belt back home.
How much would it mean to become British champion again?
It would mean the world again. Obviously I should never have lost it because of that timekeeper, so to get it back where it belongs will be amazing.
Lastly, what’s your big-fight prediction – who wins, David Price or Audley Harrison?
David Price, early! Harrison will be lucky to get to the third [round]. Look at the way he [Price] took [John] McDermott out, and McDermott’s one of the toughest blokes out there. Harrison’s got no chin, to be fair, and I think Price will take him out early.
September 18, 2012