After boldly introducing himself to the British boxing public with a sizzling stoppage of Slovakia’s Martin Parligi, who had never been stopped, in late May, classy Crayford super-featherweight Alex Dilmaghani aims to gatecrash the top end of the world rankings when he squares off with dynamite-punching and two-time World Challenger Francesco Fonseca in a world grade shootout at the Premier Suite, University of Bolton, on Saturday 28th September.
Presented by Hennessy Sports and VIP Promotions, in association with Infinitum and Voltarol, Dilmaghani v Foneseca is exclusively live on free-to-air Channel 5 this Saturday from 9pm.
The 130lb rivals challenge for the Vacant WBA International Super-Featherweight title and, more poignantly, a top five position in the governing body’s world rankings.
Nicarguan Fonseca, a former two-time IBF title challenger, has sent 19 of his 25 victims for an early shower and is sure to harbour world title aspirations of his own. He promises to present the litmus test that the much avoided Dilmaghani has long coveted.
‘Plenty of others collect high world rankings by picking up meaningless paper titles without actually fighting anyone of note. But that’s certainly not what I’m about,’ declared dazzling ‘Dilma’, 28, who destroyed hardman Parligi in eight in a sensational homecoming at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse, having served a blue-chip five year ring apprenticeship in North America.
That sizzling showing cornered critical acclaim from the cognoscenti and now the 29 year old Anglo-Iranian is salivating to go again, against even stiffer competition.
‘I don’t view Fonseca as a big threat. It’ll be just another day to me,’ states super confident Dilmaghani.
‘Last time, I dominated a good guy who had a very undervalued amateur pedigree – Martin once beat Andrew Selby – and he’d only lost twice, both by marginal decision, in 28 pro fights. And I didn’t just beat him up, I stopped him in first gear. He quit on me before I could hit second gear! Parligi was supposed to be a huge step up for me but it proved an easy night.’
That stellar showing not only revealed Dilmaghani as one of Britain’s best kept ring secrets but also alerted fans of his intriguing background story that saw him raised by his mum, combat racial prejudices, graduate in law at Southampton University, then master his craft in the sweat shop gyms and fight clubs of Mexico and Canada.
He says: ’The fight was shown live on network tv and I’ve had a lot of great feedback since.
‘A lot more people are keen to communicate with me now. I’m a humble guy who knows what comes with success but I prefer to keep my circle small.’
Whilst his silky southpaw skills are significant, the Redhill born rumbler believes it’s his agile mind that distinguishes him.
‘I’m a relatively educated, meticulous person and, if I set my mind to something, it gets done. I’m very, very serious about boxing. It isn’t a game to me. I don’t just seek to win, I look to dominate, be impressive….and that’s a mentality every great fighter should have.
A few may work as hard in the gym but they don’t study the game as intensely as I do. I live and breathe boxing. I’m OCD with it.
‘Going from my spars and fights thus far, I have supreme confidence in what I can do. Apart from sparring the great Juan Manuel Marquez at his Romanza Gym in Mexico City years ago, when I was a young apprentice, I’ve never been inside a ring with anybody who I felt was comfortably better than me. I’ve sparred against some big names and let me tell you they found it difficult to handle the intense pressure when I put on them. I just take one fight at a time but I know I’m on the right path to becoming a world champion. ”
Mastered just once in 21 and presently undefeated in well over eight years, the smooth but spiteful southpaw – five stoppages in his last seven – knows that victory over the formidable Fonseca will catapult him to the cusp of the major world title fight he craves.
He concludes: ‘The beautiful thing about this fight is, after years of being overlooked, when I crash the ratings after taking care of Francisco, one of the world champions could be stupid enough to choose me for a voluntary!’