Luton boxer, Michael Devine 13-2-1 will be back in the ring on May 16th when he takes on champion Adam Dingsdale 12-2-1 for his Southern Area lightweight title at York Hall.
The Goodwin Promotions show features a whopping 16 scheduled fights with seven of those billed as title fights featuring four Southern Area title clashes as well as three Masters titles fights making it one of the best non-TV shows of 2015.
A former Southern Area champion himself at super-featherweight back in 2013 received via a points win over Dan Naylor, the challenger said, “I totally respect Dingsdale, he’s a cracking little fighter. We are both on the same level but I’m always improving and I’m the biggest puncher of the two.”
He continued, “This is worthy of an English title fight, our styles gel well and it’s going to be one hell of a fight.”
Devine comes into this fight off the back of a commendable Prizefighter campaign that saw him reach the tournament final losing on points to eventual winner, Jono Carroll after flooring rival, Danny Connor in the quarter-final and scoring a fine one punch KO over Essex boxer, Lee Martin in the semi’s.
“Being live on Sky Sports and even all the promotional things that we did was all great experience for me and that’s the level I want to be at,” said 25-year-old Devine. “Even getting beaten by Jono Carroll in the final will be good for me because he can go all the way, he may have looked classier in those three rounds but I gave him a good fight. If it was over 10 rounds then I would have been more patient but over three rounds I lunged in more than I would have normally. That gave me massive confidence in myself because I always knew I had power but I showed it on the big stage that night.”
The 27-year-old champion, Dingsdale from Kent has an almost identical record to his challenger and he puts his second professional title on the line which he won in June last year from Portsmouth’s Floyd ‘Pacman’ Moore.
His only defeats have come in big title fights when he failed to claim the vacant WBC Continental lightweight title against Derry Matthews in October last year and his first ever loss was handed to him by former WBO European lightweight champion, Stephen Ormond in October 2013.
Devine said of his forthcoming foe, “He’s been in there with Ormond and Mathews and he’s experienced that top level so you can’t take nothing away from him and he’s got a great team behind him. I want to push on from Prizefighter now so I’ve been on the big stage myself. The winner of this fight will go on to fight for an English title, every fight for me now gets bigger.”
The pair were due to lock horns in March this year but injury forced the challenger to pull out.
The Luton boxer explained, “From Prizefighter, I injured my shoulder in the punch that floored Danny Connor so after the show I had four weeks off. Then, I went running in the New Year and did my calf in, then I went to the gym and did some bag work and done my other calf! Then, sparring Ben Jones, I ripped tendons in my elbow and in my rotator cuff. I did try to soldier on but it was too big a fight for me to take the risk.”
Dingsdale, intent on keeping busy, took another fight on March 14th in his home area of Gillingham, Kent beating Fonz Alexander on points over six rounds.
Of his injury woes, Devine clarified, “I’ve felt little niggles at start of camp but I’m getting stronger, everything is going to plan, sparring is starting to get harder now. We’ve been doing a lot more hill runs for this fight because me and Dingsdale have both got a high work rate so I’m putting everything possible in the tank for this one.”
The Devine – Dingsdale clash co-headlines the show with another intriguing 50-50 fight between Devon’s Jamie Speight 12-7 and Berkshire’s Ian Bailey 12-17-1 for the Southern Area featherweight title.
Bailey has held the Southern Area featherweight title once before by beating Bexley boxer, Lewis Pettitt in 2012 and remains the only loss on the current WBA Inter-Continental super-bantamweight champion’s record since.
Speight is the reigning Southern Area champion winning the title at the weight above on his second attempt as Area champ after losing to the aforementioned Pettitt for the super-bantamweight version in 2013.
The remaining two Southern Area clashes features Philip ‘Quicksilver’ Bowes 9-1 as he challenges for the Southern Area light-welterweight belt against the unbeaten former Prizefighter Champion, Johnny Coyle 9-0 whilst Johnny Garton 14-1 makes his second defence of the welterweight version against former English title challenger, Martin Welsh 12-4.
Devine’s old foe, Danny Connor 11-9-2 competes for the International Masters lightweight title whilst Hampshire’s ‘Dangerous’ Danny Goode 13-7 fights for the Masters super-middleweight strap and Adam ‘Raw’ Salman 5-1 completes the trio of Masters title bouts when he competes for the light-welterweight version.
The youngest pair of Ricky Hatton’s ‘Upton Clan’, Sonny 5-2 and Anthony Upton 8-0 continue their steady rise through the ranks in six round contests.
Exciting light-middleweight, Joey Vaughan 1-0 has his first contest since signing with the top London promotional outfit, the Goodwin’s.
Jamie Arlain 1-0 also has his first fight under the Goodwin’s banner following an extended ring absence.
Exciting undefeated light-middleweight, John Cash 4-0 has a six round contest.
‘Irish Lightning’ Dean Byrne 17-4-1 tangles with respected journeyman, William Warburton 14-74-6 over four rounds at welterweight.
David Leo 2-2 is also in action against looking to get the balance on his even record back to winning ways against an, as yet, unconfirmed opponent.
Debutants, Andrew Joicey takes his pro bow at welterweight and Mwenya Chisanga at light-welterweight.