Fighting Chance Promotions kick off their promotional run this Easter weekend headlined by two of the hottest properties in north-east boxing when Jon-Lewis Dickinson and Josh Leather star at the Gateshead Leisure Centre.
Former WBC International, British, English and Northern Area cruiserweight king, Jon-Lewis Dickinson, 16-4(5) headlines against tough Czech challenger, Jiri Svacina over six threes; he is ably supported by Teesside’s undefeated prospect, Josh Leather, 8-0(2), in against Hungarian Pal Olah, 1-1(1) over the same distance.
For Dickinson it’s his first outing in nearly a year, since he stopped Stephen Simmons at the Metro Radio Arena showpiece, Geordie Roar, last April; Leather meanwhile has not fought in the region since he appeared on the Stuart Hall – Paul Butler undercard in June 2014.
Both fighters have similar reasons for home progression on Easter Saturday. Dickinson has a British title eliminator against Tommy McCarthy to look forward to in Glasgow next month on the Ricky Burns/Sky Sports undercard whereas Leather is looking for an English title shot later in the year – both have to come through this first.
“It was frustrating for me last year, especially after a great win last time out (against Simmons),” began Dickinson.
“I now want to be able to push on and do the best I can in the sport and I still believe I can go all the way to the top, as does my team because, since last summer, it’s been a waiting game with phone calls and dates being put back.
“To go from having no dates to these two in quick succession is brilliant. Two great fights to look forward to and the eliminator next month is on Sky so that’s even better for me – it’s a business we’re in and you have to take the opportunities when they are presented.”
In recent times Dickinson has seen calls for rematches with the likes of Matty Askin, Courtney Fry, Ovill McKenzie, there’s only one he’ll take though; as for local ‘rival’ Simon Valilly.
“Any rematch will only happen if it makes sense,” continued Jon.
“Askin and Fry there’s nothing there so the only one I would is McKenzine and that’s if the time is right and it makes sense to do so. As for Valilly, he keeps on mentioning me and I don’t know why. Again though there’s no reason for me to fight him. What’s he got to offer me, nothing.”
Josh meanwhile, having made his debut at the Olympic venue, the Copper Box Arena, back in late 2013, against Joe Beeden, is looking to catapult himself into title contention this year.
Expertly guided at Natural Progression in Stockton by Imran Naeem since he turned over, only three of his fights have been on home soil, two at the Metro Radio Arena in 2014 and the first, at the Gateshead Leisure Centre, on Steve Wraith’s ‘Licensed to Thrill’ card in November 2013.
“This is going to be a great night an it’s good to be back fighting in the north-east again,” said Josh.
“It’s exactly what I need, to be fighting in front of my own fans at home. I’ve got a good fan base though and they go everywhere with me.
“My last fight (a stoppage win against Michael Mooney) was a good test and was rather durable. I’ve never had it easy when on the road, always been tested no matter who I’ve faced and had some good fights along the way.
“Yes I would have liked to have had a few more fights but I’m looking for as many fights as possible in 2016 and make a go for the English title, maybe try get four or five outings in.”
With the doors opening at 6:30pm and the first fight at approximately 7:30pm Jon-Lewis Dickinson and Josh Leather will be joined on an undercard consisting of Jone TK, Danny Wall, Mark White, Basi Razaq and debutant Jamie Jones.