JON LEWIS Dickinson reckons his British cruiserweight title defence tomorrow could turn into a war against dangerous challenger Mike Stafford.
But the Gateshead-born boxer says he wouldn’t want it any other way!
The 26-year-old is making his second title defence in under three months after outpointing Sunderland’s David Dolan at the Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton back in February.
And tomorrow night he returns to the same venue hoping to take another big step towards winning a Lonsdale belt outright.
To do that, he will first have to take care of experienced Merseysider Stafford, who has won 11 of his 12 bouts compared to Dickinson’s 13 wins in 15.
And the 6ft 4in champion appreciates he could be in for the fight of his life as he takes on a 31-year-old who is experienced, fit and motivated.
Dickinson told the Echo: “Stafford’s got a good record and obviously he’s coming to win – no one who gets a crack at a British title takes it lightly.
“But I’m really fit, the training has gone well and I only took a week off after going 12 rounds with Davey Dolan because I like to stay in the best shape I can.
“They say Stafford likes to come to fight and take it to his opponents, but that doesn’t bother me – in fact, I prefer it.
“If it is going to be a war, then so be it.
“My most difficult fights have always been the most tactical ones where your opponent is not looking to take you on.
“That was what was so great about the Dolan fight – a lot of it was toe-to-toe and I loved that.
“Davey had come to win and it was great to be trading punches – I think the crowd loved it too – and that’s why I really don’t mind it if Stafford is coming up here to try to get in my face.
“Either way, it’s going to be a good fight, and I’m just glad to have the home crowd behind me.
“I think they’re going to have a great night’s boxing, and I’ll determined that they’ll see me make a successful second defence of my title.”
A few tickets still remain for the show and anyone interested in going, should contact the promoters on 07747 611 020.
H Nathan Cleverly insists testing sparring sessions with heavyweights Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury have strengthened his belief in his “granite chin”.
Cleverly will make the fourth defence of his WBO light-heavyweight title against Robin Krasniqi when he headlines Frank Warren’s “Rule Britannia” bill at Wembley Arena on Saturday night.
In an effort to add variety to his training, the 26-year-old Welshman has sparred with Chisora and Fury – and often found himself unloading in ferocious toe-to-toe exchanges.
“It’s nice to be taken out of your comfort zone and face guys who are heavier than you and who can push you around,” Cleverly said.
“It’s good to not have things your own way and these guys test your chin and how you respond.
“Sometimes I stand and trade with the heavyweights. It’s macho, you could say it’s a bit silly, but that’s my mentality. I love to go to war sometimes.
“I have a granite chin and have never been put down, but the heavyweights really test my chin. It’s a challenge but it gives me confidence when I take their shots.”