MIDDLEWEIGHT boxer Carl Dickens is raring to make an instant return to winning ways when he steps into the ring for his seventh professional bout next month.
‘The Wallop’ admitted he had been outsmarted by Brighton’s Nicky Jenman as his five-fight winning streak as a professional was brought to an end in February but, as he continues preparations for the upcoming July 4 bout at the new venue of Walsall Town Hall, the 31-year-old revealed he is in no mood to taste defeat again.
“I said at the time that I learned a lot from my last fight and I went away and discussed a few things with the people I needed to and now I feel more positive than ever,” said the Winyates East man.
“I feel great, I’ve just got a few pounds to lose which is no problem, and my sprinting and running has been going really well.
“I am in a good place at the moment, feeling confident but not arrogant.”
Dickens believes he will benefit greatly from the advice he picked up from renowned dietician and nutritionist Kerry Kayes, who is famed for his work with Ricky Hatton.
“I attended a seminar which was brilliant because Kerry explained that a lack of water was causing my skin to cut more easily and that’s what basically cost me my last fight,” added Dickens.
“My nutrition was not the best and he also told me that monitoring calories is a key thing so I’ve taken all that on board and that’s boosted my confidence even more.”
Dickens’ opponent looks set to be announced as 37-year-old Telford-based orthodox Kieron Gray, who has in the past gone up against Jenman, Terry Carruthers and Craig Cunningham.
The Wallop, sponsored chiefly by Birmingham’s Passion VIP, is feeling up to the task ahead after going up against the likes of Nathan Decastro, Max Maxwell, Cunningham and Dan Breeze in sparring.
As recently as Wednesday, Dickens endured two hard rounds against both Breeze and Sam Eggington, the Stourbridge-based current Commonwealth and WBC International Silver welterweight champion.
And, boosted by acquiring a new sponsor in the form of Redditch-based Third Party Solutions to join his other sponsor IDM Electrical, also of Redditch, Dickens is keen to repay the faith shown in him.
“My tickets have been selling well again but there’s still a few to go and there’s also transport to the venue being arranged,” added Dickens.
“I’ve always said the fans drive me on and it’s great they will be coming to Walsall to see me box there.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work on my defence with my coach Gary Blower at Studio ABC and also been busy with strength and conditioning coach John Jones at Eastside ABC in Birmingham.
“John has really helped me a lot and I’m looking a bit bigger and more powerful than before, which is great.
“I know I’ve got what it takes to earn a shot at a Challenger belt but it’s all about this fight at the moment.”
You can buy tickets for and transport to the fight, which is part of the ‘Independence Day’ bill, by contacting Studio ABC on 0121 459 1212. Further information is also available by visiting the club’s Facebook page.
Later on the evening of the fight, there will be an after-party at The Old Sticky Wicket pub in Matchborough, which fans are welcome to attend.