By Dave Lockey @BoxingViper
This Saturday sees two tough talking scousers go head to head once more at the Bolton Arena.
Paul Smith and Tony Dodson will clash for the second time in their pro careers and up for grabs will be the coveted, vacant BBBofC British Super Middleweight Title.
This is the very same title they fought for in 2010 in which Smith won via unanimous decision after a bloody encounter at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
That night, Smith sustained a nasty cut on his left eyelid in the first round and was then cut again beside the same eye in the second round – both due to clashes of heads. He survived an inspection of the eye in round four and went on to close the fight with scores of 117-112, 116-111 & 115-112.
The ever brooding figure of Smith was confident ahead of this Saturday’s clash stating that he has already gone twelve rounds with Dodson and he doesn’t plan on letting the fight last that long this time around.
At 30 years of age, Smith – also known as “Real Gone Kid” – still has a few miles left in the tank in my opinion. His record is 35 fights, 32 wins and only 3 defeats. Two of those defeats came at the hands of rising Super Middleweight stars James Degale and George Groves. Smith also commands a decent KO ratio having stopped 18 of his opponents although he has been KO’d twice himself by the aforementioned fighters.
Dodson was inevitably also bigging up his chances ahead of Saturday’s showdown with his native Liverpudlian. The “Warrior” stated that he aims to right a wrong and settle the score once and for all to become the new champion.
He is two years the senior of Smith and his record reads 37 fights, 29 wins, 7 defeats and 1 draw. He has stopped 14 of his opponents but has also been stopped 7 times himself. His CV is also quite impressive and although he can’t claim to have fought the likes of Degale or Groves as recently as Smith has, the opponents he has been in the ring with over recent years are of good stock. Names like Ovill McKenzie, Tony Quigley and most notably, Carl Froch will give Dodson the experience that he will need against the hungry Smith.
The fight will take place on the card of the highly anticipated Gavin Rees vs Anthony Crolla showdown but by no means is Smith vs Dodson 2 a side show. It has the potential to be a barnstorming fight as both men realise that this is a crucial time in their respective careers.
They will probably both accept that neither of them are elite level fighters and neither will get a world title shot any time soon, but on the domestic front – possible even European – they both still have the ability to do a job
Not only that, pride is everything to fighters like Smith and Dodson. Add to that the local rivalry, the score to settle and the vacant British title and you have all the ingredients for a cracking little battle.
My money, as I am a Smith fan, goes on Smith within 7 rounds. But plenty of drama to be had up to that point and I can guarantee neither of these 2 will pull their punches.