Rocky Fielding will defend his English super middleweight title against Tony Dodson at the Liverpool Olympia on September 21, live on Sky Sports, part of a bumper Merseyside bill in association with Coldwell Boxing.
The all-Merseyside affair marks the second defence of the belt that he won at the same venue against another Liverpool rival Carl Dilks with a fifth round stoppage in October 2012. The unbeaten 26 year old Fielding saw off tough Sheffield tyro Wayne Reed in March with a sixth round stoppage, and steps up in class against a man he knows well to kick off a new season he hopes to land the British belt held by another Liverpool man, Paul Smith.
“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.”
Last time out, Dodson was stopped by Smith in a top class fight in Bolton in June for the British strap, with the 33 year old going toe-to-toe for six rounds with ‘Smigga’, and for Fielding, it’s a chance to test himself against a man who has had a big influence on his career on a bit night for the proud boxing city.
“I used to meet him in a pub car park and we would drive up to the gym together and train and spar together,” said Fielding. “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. I used to sit there and watch and he was good, and 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.