Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd says he’s finally getting the respect he deserves as he defends his Commonwealth Lightweight title against Tommy Coyle at the Echo Arena on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.
Dodd puts his title on the line for the second time having seen off Liverpool rival Tom Stalker in September, another key win in his remarkable rise in the three years since seeing off Gary Buckland in September 2015.
‘Masher’ shared two great fights with Scotty Cardle for the British title, narrowly missing out on both occasions before picking up and defending the WBC International crown then defeating Lee Appleyard last April to pick up the Commonwealth crown.
The Birkenhead man’s rise now sees him pitted as a slight favourite against all-action Hull man Coyle, and Dodd believes that’s recognition for the fairytale ride he’s on – that he doesn’t plan to let Coyle stop.
“It's nice that people think that I am going to win and start to believe that I'm for real,” said Dodd. “I adapt and that's what champions do, I've never won every fight in just one way; I've had to box on the front foot, be on the back foot, been the aggressor, counter-punched – I've got a lot of strings to my bow to win fights.
“People think that I am crap and easy to beat – so whenever I win there's always a queue of people that want to fight me. I don't need to shout at anyone, they'll be lining up, so I leave that to the team and what's on the table.
“I just try be a better boxer and a better person every day. Coming up against people like Scotty Cardle, Tom Stalker and Tommy Coyle – top fighters that have won belts and had good amateur backgrounds. To beat them and get the respect is all I need and when I fight them, they always say that I am better than they thought I would be.
“It's a massive fight for me, the lads who have beaten him are top names. I don't have the punch of Derry Mathews but I've got a good chin and a big heart, I am prepared for a war and we'll see what happens.
“I pinch myself when people talk about being Commonwealth champion let alone other titles, but if we do get a shot at Lewis Ritson for the British it would be fantastic. If not, two successful defences of the Commonwealth might be time to move to European titles.
“Tommy’s an obstacle for me to move onto better things and keep food on the table, to keep me on this momentous journey that I am on. Tommy is coming to upset that and take what I've worked very hard for but there's not a hope in hell that he’s going to take it, whether he's the underdog or I am the underdog, it doesn’t matter.”
Dodd’s clash with Coyle is part of a huge night of action in Liverpool as Amir Khan returns to action against fiery Canadian Phil Lo Greco.
'Miss GB’ Natasha Jonas fights for her first pro title with the WBA International Super-Featherweight title against Taoussy L’Hadji, former British and European Welterweight champion Sam Eggington begins life at Super-Welterweight, Rio Olympian Anthony Fowler boxes in front of his hometown fans for the second time as a pro and is joined by fellow Mersey hitters Tom Farrell and Craig Glover.
Exciting Welterweight Conor Benn returns, Qais Ashfaq is in his second pro fight, unbeaten Bolton Super-Bantamweight Osman Aslam and unbeaten Super-Welterweight Scott Fitzgerald are all in action.
Limited tickets remain on sale priced £40 and £80 via the Echo Arena at www.echoarena.com and on 0344 8000 400.
Face value tickets for April 21 are available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.