Michael Devine (15-5-1) has withdrawn from his Southern Area lightweight title defence against the mandatory challenger Jamie Arlain (5-0) on April 22nd at the York Hall in London.
Devine, 27 from Luton, gave up the title to focus on bigger fights so Medway’s Adam Dingsdale (15-3-1) has stepped in to fill the void in an attempt to regain the title that he once held during 2014 – 2015.
The 10-round championship contest is still scheduled to take place on April 22nd at the same iconic East-End venue.
The Medway man will be eager to win back the Southern Area lightweight title that he previously relinquished in order to challenge Kevin Hooper (19-5) for his English lightweight championship in March 2016, losing via unanimous decision to the champion from Grimsby.
Dingsdale is replacing Devine, who have crossed paths before when they met in May 2015 which should have served the 29-year-old from Hoo with the first defence of his Southern Area title but his challenger came in overweight and forfeited the right to fight for the belt. Dingsdale won the non-championship 10-rounder on points.
The Kent puncher, originally born in Merseyside, has come up short in all his other title fights at 135lbs against the aforementioned Hooper, the recently retired Derry Mathews for the WBA Continental, and Stephen Ormond for the WBO European.
Standing in his way on the celebrated St. George’s Day weekend is the mandated fighter that earned his shot at the oldest prize in British boxing with a second-round stoppage of rival Andrew Joicey (3-3) on December 3rd in a 10-round eliminator contest.
Arlain, 29 from Bethnal Green, smashed through his opponent in style on the same night that Devine became a two-weight Area titlist by defeating Ben Day (8-2-1) via the very same result.
Arlain’s inexperience is evident in his record having only been involved in five professional contests so far, although he has completed the full eight-rounds when he defeated Joicey in their first meeting in September 2016 for the British Challenge Belt, winning via a 79-74 points decision.
The East-Ender has also withdrawn from fights this year as he was originally slated to tackle unbeaten prospect Jimmy Cooper (4-0-1) on March 11th whilst he awaited his mandated title shot. When the date was finally fixed for the following month in April, it made sense to pull out of the bout billed as ‘Battle of the Unbeaten’ to concentrate solely on the championship opportunity.
The southpaw confirmed, “My trainer Matt [Marsh] said to wait until April 22nd for the bigger opportunity. I was happy to box in both fights but I always listen to his advice.”
He continued to say, “I know that Dingsdale is experienced and that he boxed for the English and WBO European, so I know what he’s capable of.
“He’s got a similar record to Devine and I’ll be a massive underdog, but you’ve got to take these opportunities when they come and I’m fully confident.”
Arlain v Dingsdale headlines the packed event titled ‘Nemesis’ with a whole host of unbeaten prospects appearing on the undercard – Duane Sinclair (4-0); Ricky Heavens (1-0-1); Jordan Dennis (2-0); Miles Darby (1-0); Christos Ioannou (2-0); Mark Little (3-0); Brad Pauls (5-0); Ryan Walker (1-0); and Mikey Sakyi (2-0); and Jack Mulowayi (2-0) will all be in action looking to extend their respective unbeaten records.
Debutants Liam Dillon; Connor Gorham; Lewis Syrett; Mitchell Preedy; and Mikael Lawal will all make their pro bow on the same night.
For tickets to the show, please contact 07528 663 629
Follow Jamie Arlain on Twitter @arlain_jamie88
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