The cruiserweight division has always been an intriguing division created to accommodate boxers that range between the light heavyweight division and the heavyweight division, Heavyweight generally weight around 215-230lbs.
With the heavyweight being dominated by Eastern European giants that seem to be fighting name fighters that are past their prime, or men that just don’t have the physical attribute to make an impression on the giants, or unconditioned athletes who have just turned up to collect the pay check, the cruiserweight division should flourish in theory.
John Lewis Dickinson will battle Shane McPhilbin for the British Cruiserweight title and both fighters have the attributes to make this a classic.
English champion Dickinson, has endured a few tough years after announcing himself on the British stage winning the Prizefighter tournament.
Unfortunately though, it all went a bit quiet for the Britley man. He suffered two freak losses where he suffered a large swelling and a broken jaw. Dickinson opted for some time away from the sport.
At this time (October 2011) his opponent, Shane McPhilbin was 2-2 and had just been defeated in Prizefighter. McPhilbin opted to drop down to the cruiserweight division and McPhilbin’s career started to make progress. After routine wins against journeymen opposition McPhilbin faced Rhys Davies for the Midlands area title. McPhilbin landed with superbly timed right that stiffened Rhys’s legs and seized his opportunity following up with another right hand moments later.
One month later Dickinson returned after a year out to defeat North East rival David Dolan for the Northern Area title over ten rounds.
McPhilbin was a late replacement against Leon Williams for the British title in January 2012.
McPhilbin was put down in the 1st and given a count after touching down in the 6th. In the eleventh round it looked as if William would cruise to a point’s victory. In the twelfth, soon after the start, Williams got hit with a short but powerful counter left and was soon on the seat of his pants. Williams only just beat the count returning to his feet, but immediately McPhilbin pounced, landing a number of punches, and after a hard overhand right to the ear, sent him to the canvas again. Williams struggled to steady himself on his feet and in the final wave of attack the referee stepped in calling a halt to the contest, to win the British title and capping an incredible year for the Midlands man.
Dickinson stopped Chris Burton in Scotland in the February setting up a contest with top prospect Matty Askin for the English Cruiserweight title in the March. Dickinson handed Askin his first professional loss winning comfortably by unanimous decision, taking the belt boxing to game plan, throwing punches in bunches and getting out of danger.
McPhilbin’s first defence came against former WBO Champion Enzo Maccarinelli in what turned out to be a memorable fight… for all the wrong reasons. Maccarinelli won a unanimous verdict in Wolverhampton, with the judges scoring the contest 115-111, 116-111, 115-110 in his favour. The 31-year-old Welshman was in severe trouble in the first round and the first round was cut short by 47 seconds. Then Maccarinelli was on the floor again in the second round. McPhilbin failed to capitalise, though, and former WBO champion Maccarinelli gradually took control to win the contest.
Since the bout, the timekeeper has been suspended and Enzo Maccarinelli has been found to have taken a sports supplement containing a banned substance.
Can Jon Lewis Dickinson win the title?
For Dickinson, it will come down to pressure. If Dickinson can box the way he did with the same composure against Askin, Dickinson will have an easier night. Dickinson has been caught before suffering horrendous injuries there may be a little hesitancy to engage in a war if he has to.
Steve Bunce asked Dickinson how do you prepare for a fighter that will be fighting with his head on your chest?
“Just train hard, get myself fit as possible. Work on improving on my defence and do what I do well in the ring.”
The biggest tool for Dickinson will be his jab.The 2007 ABA Heavyweight Champion has a good boxing brain and will try to avoid being dragged into the trenches with the smaller man. Dickinson in the has ended up going to war when he could of boxed in fights, taking unnecessary risk.
“Like any fighter it is in your heart, you get dragged in and you let your hands go. In my recent fights I’ve been thinking a bit more and I’m a better fighter for it.” Dickinson told Steve Bunce.
Pressure, a forceful jab, timely footwork, and a heavy dosage of body work could weaken the legs of McPhilbin by the late rounds and great conditioning will be enough to take the title Following this plan is a sure shot at victory for Dickinson. Does he have the discipline to pull it off?
Can Shane McPhilbin win the title?
For Shane McPhilbin, it’s straightforward in what he needs to do. He’s facing a taller man, who will have a lot confidence after defeating a very strong prospect in his last outing. McPhilbin will need to unsettle the English title holder. Impose his will on Dickinson early, get in close and attack the body, yet protecting himself from returning combinations, and subsequently getting in the head of Dickinson from the opening bell.
The biggest key for McPhilbin is to keep Dickinson on his back foot. Accomplishing this will mean that Dickinson is not only off his game plan, but also unable to set his feet and land effectively. It could all go downhill for Dickinson if he finds himself dealing too strongly with this. Anything less and it’s an even game, as most of McPhilbin’s strengths would be nullified with Dickinson’s size and boxing ability.
This is a great fight from when it was announced and it could be a fight of the year. Dickinson has great boxing ability and the hunger to succeed after the horrendous defeats he suffered. He is powerful enough to cause problems and has a newfound level of confidence after winning the English title.
I think Dickinson will time his combinations but will also have to counter punch as I can see McPhilbin rushing in to pressurise Dickinson and will try and put it on him early on. I can see Dickinson taking the title in what will be a very close fight with a number of rounds that could go way. I could see McPhilbin starting quickly, Dickinson using his boxing to control the majority but then McPhilbin firing back in the championship rounds.
I’m going for a Dickinson win, but it’s going to be a hard night at the office for him.
Tickets still available for Jon-lewis Dickinson vs Shane McPhilbin Also on the card David Price vs Audley Harrison for the British title and Kevin Satchell vs Chris Edwards for the British and Commonwealth Flyweight title and a host of young prospects from the Merseyside area.
Call 0844 8000 400 or see http://www.frankmaloney.com/index.php/tickets.html for more details.
The contest will be screened live and exclusive on Boxnation (Sky 437/ Virgin Media 546) in the UK and on Wealth TV in the USA (See local listing for details).