Dolan eyes opportunity to impress against Dickinson

Sunderland cruiserweight David Dolan believes July's bout with Jon-Lewis Dickinson is a chance for both fighters to push claims for title contention.

Dolan, 31, and Dickinson, 25, have both been kept out of action through injury since their last fights in Decemberexternal-link and Julyexternal-link last year respectively.

"We've both had a bit of bad luck that has put us both out of contention," Dolan told BBC Look North.

"The winner of this is going to be right back in the mix."

Dickinson, a 2010 Prizefighter winner at cruiserweight level, has battled hard to return to fitness after a broken jaw forced him to retire mid-fight against Richard Turba.

"If you asked me eight month ago when I had my jaw wired up I would have said it was the worst thing that happened to me.

"Now looking back, after getting back in the gym, I feel physically stronger, more determined than ever not to let anyone take away what I want to get out of the boxing.

"It's been a blessing in disguise, the lay-off has done us good."

The meeting between the two north east fighters is being billed as a 'Tyne-Wear derby', with Birtley-born Dickinson up against Wearsider Dolan.

"I think it's good for the area, we've got the top boxers in the region, we're not avoiding each other," 2002 Commonwealth gold medallist Dolan added.

"We've both had success, Jon-Lewis won the Prizefighter, I fought for the British title, and we both bring different things to the table.

"There's a bit of spice to the fight, but the most important thing is the win, in terms of getting back in the mix for the British title."

Dolan, who is six years older than his Stadium of Light opponent, has already had three tilts at the British title, drawing one and losing the other two from 18 fights in total.

However Dickinson, who has a professional record of eight wins and two defeats, is yet to secure a title shot since the Prizefighter final success in April 2010.

"It motivates us, since I've turned professional, I've had two things that have really motivated us, first was the Prizefighter which I won, and the second one is this," Dickinson added.

"Fighting journeymen doesn't do anything for me, I believe I'm one of the best in the country, so I should be fighting the best lads.

"This fight should get me to where I should be, beat Dolan and then I'm looking for British titles and onwards from there."

The Dickinson-Dolan fight, which also features Martin Ward versus Ian Napa, takes place at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on Sunday, 3 July.

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