CARL Dickens will be bidding to take out the frustration of seeing his previous fight cancelled when he takes to the ring next week for what is expected to be his toughest professional fight to date.
‘The Wallop’ was left frustrated when December’s middleweight bout against Cardiff’s Gareth Piper was chalked off at late notice – itself a contest which had only been arranged after two previous scheduled opponents had been forced to withdraw.
However, Winyates East boxer Dickens, 30, is in bullish mood as he finalises his preparations to face 28-year-old Nicky Jenman in the Holte Suite at Villa Park on Friday, February 20.
Brighton’s Jenman is a talented fighter with a winning record and both Gary Blower and Jon Pegg – Dickens’ trainer and manager – have warned their man to expect his toughest challenge yet as he bids to extend his winning professional record to six victories.
Blower, who as usual has been putting Dickens through his paces at Birmingham’s Studio ABC, said: “Carl is in fine fettle, as fit as I’ve seen him, and he needs to be because I expect this to be his hardest bout yet.
“Jenman will be coming on the front foot to fight. He has an impressive winning record and I’ve watched him in action.
“It should be a very entertaining contest but, as ever with Carl, he’s looking good and I am confident.”
Blower has told Dickens that this fight could in effect be an eliminator contest for a Masters belt and, with this in mind, the Redditch man has even more incentive to triumph.
“Knowing this could be the fight which gets me a crack at a Masters belt in an eight-round contest is a big motivation for me,” said Dickens, who is sponsored by Passion VIP of Birmingham and IDM Electrical of Redditch.
“My training has been going great and I’ve been doing lots of sprint work with Jon Pegg so I’m raring to go.
“I’ve got to let it go a lot more in this fight, but this guy is going to be a tough test. I’ve been working on explosive power shots and this could be the key for me.”
Dickens, who will once again be backed by a large contingent of fans, added: “I feel the best I’ve ever been before a fight. I’ve been eating more but training harder and feel really good for it.
“I’m nervy, but also confident, which is a good balance.
“I’m also looking forward to fighting an orthodox opponent again, for the first time since my first professional bout.
“In sparring I’ve been facing amateurs and Marcello Renda as part of his preparation for this weekend’s middleweight Prizefighter contest in Blackpool, so I’ve definitely prepared well.”
Tickets for the Holte Suite bill have been selling quickly but a limited number remain and you can buy them by calling Dickens on 07411 936522.