End is near for David Dolan

BOXING: David Dolan Vs John Lewis Dickinson
BOXING: David Dolan Vs John Lewis Dickinson
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DAVID Dolan plans to “forget about boxing for a few weeks” before contemplating his future.

The Sunderland cruiserweight faces some agonising decisions after suffering a points defeat in yesterday’s Northern Area title derby against Birtley’s Jon Lewis Dickinson.

His neighbour was awarded a 97-94 victory by Houghton-le-Spring referee Mark Curry after 10 hard-fought and absorbing rounds at the Stadium of Light.

The Summer Rumble triumph puts Dickinson on course for a possible British championship challenge, while at the same time pushing Dolan further down the queue.

It was the 31-year-old’s second successive title defeat after being forced to retire after six rounds of his bid for the English cruiserweight belt against Terry Dunstan in Houghton last December.

While it would be premature and unfair to write off a man of Dolan’s calibre – and heart – the truth is that it will be a tough route back.

After a career spanning three decades and including a Commonwealth Games gold medal, three ABA titles and a near miss for the British title, it wouldn’t be a shock if he’d decided he’d had enough of boxing.

“If something meaningful came up then we can look at it,” said Dolan. “But obviously this has put me down the pecking order.

“It’s really disappointing – a big set-back

“I’ll forget about boxing for a few weeks, enjoy some time with my family and may be look to get away on holiday.”

When he sits down in front of his TV set to view the action, he will witness a very competitive and entertaining championship battle.

And there is no doubting he will be proud of his effort – there was no lack of guts from the Neil Fannan and Dave Garside fighter who fought strongly until the final bell.

Indeed, one neutral observer, former double ABA champion and gifted former pro Alan Temple thought Dolan shaded the contest.

But, Dolan was probably forced to give second best to his 25-year-old rival.

Dickinson proved that little bit sharper, his extra quality of shot edging the graft and determination of the former Plains Farm heavyweight.

“In my view it was close,” said Dolan. “I thought a lot of his punches were missing or grazing the side of my head, just scuffing me, but obviously the referee was scoring them.

“But, at the end of the day, it was about what the referee liked and he clearly preferred Jon Lewis’s work to mine.”

This reporter saw it 97-95 to Dickinson, but it is hard to pick any fault with Mr Curry’s verdict.

Many rounds were close but Dickinson appeared to have the edge,

It is true some were indeed difficult to score and open to interpretion.

In round one, for instance, Dickinson jabbed superbly yet Dolan, while not as slick, landed more combinations.

Rounds two and three went to Dickinson, but Dolan responded by performing strongly in the next two, working well inside and even landing a couple of eye-catching right-handers.

At the mid-point of the bout, it appeared as though it was going David’s way.

However, while Dolan continued to push forward, Dickinson landed the cleaner shots in the next three sessions to open up a decisive lead.

Dolan refused to lie down and in the last two rounds gave it his all and landed plenty of leather.

Unfortunately, it was too late and Mr Curry raised the arm of Dickinson who was a worthy winner of the first Northern Area title bout for seven years.

Trainer Fannan was typically honest when he said “Dave’s looked well enough in the gym and in sparring, but he seemed to grow old in that fight.

“It was hard watching him trying to drive himself on – he’s got tremendous heart, that’s never in question.

“We’ll have to have a sit down and discuss things.”