COMMONWEALTH champion Ovill McKenzie has warned Jon-Lewis Dickinson to expect a painful evening when the pair go head to head at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on Saturday night.
Dickinson, who is from Birtley, will put his British Cruiserweight title on the line in a unification bout on the undercard of Stuart Hall’s world-title contest against Paul Butler.
Having won the Londsale Belt outright when he last fought in Newcastle in March, Dickinson will start as a slight favourite this weekend.
But Derby-based McKenzie, who has previously beaten former world champion Enzo Maccarinelli at light-heavyweight, has warned his North-East rival to prepare for a difficult night.
“Cruiserweight is where I feel comfortable,” said McKenzie, who has won 22 of his 34 professional contests, recording 11 knock-outs. “I feel myself getting stronger and fitter, and I’m not having problems losing or gaining weight. I’m hitting harder, and every time I go to the gym, I feel like I’m gaining power.”
Dickinson produced one of the best performances of his career as he stopped renowned puncher Neil Dawson in the tenth round of March’s British title showdown.
The 28-year-old has never lost a ten or 12-round contest, but having watched him in action, McKenzie is adamant there is nothing to be afraid of.
“I’ve seen him on YouTube,” he said. “He’s a boxer that uses his jab, but there’s not really anything fancy. He’s a normal boxer, with nothing stylish about him. He’s straightforward.
“We’re all in the same business and I respect him. For me, it’s 50-50 between us. I’ve never met him but I respect him because we’re professionals doing a job.
“With my experience, and feeling stronger in myself, I know if I catch him once, it will be game over. I know in my heart if I catch him, it’s game over. It will be a great fight because all my fights are, but we’re coming to win and we’re coming to steal the show.”