BIRTLEY’S British champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson is looking for a repeat of his home debut to add the Commonwealth crown to his growing list of success stories.
Dickinson will be chief support to Stuart Hall’s IBF world bantamweight title defence against Paul Butler at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on June 7 and the Gateshead fighter faces Ovill McKenzie in a winner-takes-all encounter.
British cruiserweight belt holder Dickinson is putting his title on the line while Commonwealth ruler McKenzie will be defending his own crown.
Dickinson is determined not to give up his belt cheaply having won the Lonsdale Belt outright in March - and he is determined to deliver on the home stage once more.
“It was brilliant last time,” said Dickinson. “It was the first time I’d boxed in the Gateshead or Newcastle area and the atmosphere was terrific. The fans are great in the North-East and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’m the kind of fighter that wherever I box I’ll give it everything, so I don’t need a crowd to improve my performance. But to have that support, when times are tough, is amazing and I can’t thank people enough.”
Dickinson’s promoter Dennis Hobson has eyes on a world title shot eventually for him but he accepts that for that to happen there can be no slip ups against Derby’s McKenzie.
The Jamaican-born boxer has won 22 of 34 bouts, and has 11 KOs on his record and has defeated world champion Enzo Maccarinelli in the past.
Hall’s world title success have given the North-East boxing scene a real lift and Dickinson, 28, wants to give the sport another big boost.
“He’s very dangerous and I have to be totally switched on,” said Dickinson, who has lost just two of 17 outings. “But I like fighting danger men. Knowing I’ve got to be switched on makes me at the top of my game, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“I need to beat these opponents to get to where I want to be and I’m looking forward to the challenge. All opponents cause different problems. McKenzie is going to be dangerous early on, but [former opponent – Neil] Dawson was dangerous, as was Matty Askin. The good thing is I’ve got a dangerous brother that I spar with.
“It will definitely be an exciting fight. I’ve started to find my power, I’m maturing and everything is coming together. Our styles will gel and it’ll make for a really good fight for the fans.”
The undercard also boasts Sunderland’s English lightweight champion Kirk Goodings defending his title against Sheffield’s Jamie Sampson as well as highly-rated duo Josh Leather and Bradley Saunders, who himself is fighting for the WBO inter-continental belt.
Tickets are priced at £40, £60, £75, £150 and VIP £200 are available via Box Office 0844 493 6666 (VIP Packages 0114 243 4443) or from dennishobson.com