Monday, 8 March 2010

Pre-Fight - Paul Smith vs Tony Dodson

This Friday sees Paul Smith (27yr, 28(15)-1(0)-0) defend his British Super-Middleweight title against Tony Dodson (29yr, 24(12)-5(4)-1) in what proves to be a great fight that will most likely go the distance.

Now, putting aside my excitement for this fight, I feel I must mention a man seemingly forgotten in the shuffle - one Tony Quigley (25yr, 13(6)-2(1)-0), who in his last two fights has face the two men fighting on Friday.

First, almost exactly a year ago, Tony Quigley defeated Tony Dodson in a last (12th) round TKO to win the vacant British Super-Middleweight title. His first defence was in October 2009 against Paul Smith, who won a split decision of 116-112, 116-113 and 114-116. Now, I was with the third judge and scored it to Quigley, but by all accounts it was a close, tough contest that had the whole of Liverpool on their feet - some booing, some cheering, but everyone on an emotional high.

Unless my ears and memories deceive me, promoter Frank Warren immediately found a microphone and announced a rematch. This seemed to pacify the crowd somewhat (I'm sure all agreed that, no matter who won, it was as close a fight as any and one worth watching again) and that was the end of it.

Fast forward several months, and we now see Tony Dodson leaping right over Tony Quigley into the challenger's corner, while Quigly will face the vicious Paul Samuels (36yr, 21(12)-7(4)-2), hot off back-to-back wins over Cello Renda, in April.

So, not only has Quigley lost his belt in a closely-contested battle, not only has he been overlooked for a rematch, he now faces a man who could potentially throw major spanners in his future career. A devastating loss for Quigley in April could well propel Samuels into title contention, but it would set Quigley back greatly, possibly derailing his career for good.

I fail to find the justice in this situation. While I will be watching, an enjoying, the fight on Friday night, it will be with a very bittersweet taste in my mouth. My one hope is that Quigley dominates his fight, Smith wins his, and the two come together for a rematch soon.

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