Top UK trainer Joe Gallagher has praised the courage of James ‘Jazza’ Dickens as the Briton prepares to face one of the planet’s greatest fighters in Cardiff.
The 25 year-old steps in where many have feared to tread in a bid to rip the WBA super-bantamweight belt away from the amateur superstar, who won double world and Olympic titles during his time donning the vest and headgear.
Gallagher sees the bout as win-win for Dickens, whose reputation will only be further enhanced whatever the result, but hopes the Liverpudlian gives a good account of himself at the Wales Ice Arena tonight.
“It’s a very good fight. I think Jazza is a very good fighter, switch-hitter and I think he’s matured,” Gallagher exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Don’t get me wrong, I believe Rigondeaux is right up there. He’s in the pound for pound top three or four fighters in the world but he’s getting on in age a little bit, although he’s not had that many hard fights.
“Also, when Rigo has asked to have been pushed he’s always responded – like when he beat Nonito Donaire easily enough.
“Jazza has youth on his side, he’s ambitious and hopefully he doesn’t get caught early on the night.
“Rigondeaux is at his best and sharpest very early. He likes to put fighters in their box early on and coast for the rest of the fight.
“But it’s a very good fight and fair play to Jazza. He’s a winner no matter what happens on the night,” he added.
A good performance from Dickens could potentially open the door for a fight with Gallagher’s own 122 pound star – Scott Quigg, who is on the way back following a broken jaw suffered in the Carl Frampton fight.