While some fighters may struggle with the prospect of fighting in front of no fans, Jazza Dickens feels some of his past fights experiencing that scenario makes him more than ready for his Golden Contract featherweight final with Ryan Walsh.
Dickens (29-3, 11 KOs) and Walsh (26-2-2, 12 KOs) meet on a massive card on September 30, which will be broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports in association with Matchroom Boxing, and live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a career for Dickens, which has involved fighting in various venues throughout the UK, along with time spent out in the Dominican Republic and Miami, and he feels those past adventures gives him an advantage ahead of the highly-anticipated behind closed doors showdown.
Dickens said: “I travelled the world as an amateur fighting in quiet sports halls, and I boxed in the Dominican Republic in front of ten people three years ago.
“I’ve also boxed in empty arenas as a professional. I was on after the main events as the live float for the Hatton vs. Senchenko fight, and Price vs. Thompson. One hour earlier those arenas were packed.
“In one fight I got told ‘you will be paid but you won’t fight.’ I told them ‘I need to fight, get me on!’ The lights went out before the decision and people were brushing up around the ring.
“In the Dominican Republic three years ago in front of 10 people, I realised why I do it and why I love it so much. It was a real fight, a ‘straightener’ as we call it in Liverpool.
“As always I’ll fight my fight and I’ll give 100%. This is a once in a life time chance. There might be no crowd, but big money is up for grabs.”
The #GoldenContract featherweight final takes place on the same night as the super-lightweight final, as Ohara Davies faces Tyrone McKenna, while that evening also sees a light-heavyweight semi-final between Liam Conroy and Serge Michel on the undercard.
The other light-heavyweight semi-final sees Hosea Burton travel to Latvia to take on Ricards Bolotniks on September 26, with that fight broadcast live on IFL TV.