Mersey beefcake Alex Dickenson ruled supreme over England and Britain in the amateur code and now intends to replicate that hegemony as a professional.
This weekend the 30 year old from the coastal town of Formby kick starts his paid career over four rounds or less against 84 fight Hungarian warhorse Ferenc Zsalek on the talent stacked BoxNation screened card from Belfast’sWaterfront Hall.
On Sunday, ‘Dicko’ lasted eight rounds with BN inquisitor Glynn Evans.
I understand you were a late starter to boxing.
That’s right. I was always pretty sporty at school and played football and cricket at a good level but didn’t have any contact with boxing until I was about 18 or 19.
An older cousin took me under his wing and did a bit of pads with me, nothing too technical. From that, I started working out at the Kirkby ABC that produced world champions John Conteh and Paul Hodkinson. Hopefully Alex Dickenson will join that list one day!
Before I started, I was a typical footy lad, an Evertonian. Football was my life. Now I’ve no interest. Boxing has become my life and I couldn’t even tell you who plays for Everton!
What did you achieve in the amateur code?
I had my first amateur bout in 2011 and, after just a couple of feelers, I won the (English) ABA Novices for under 10 bouts in 2011. After a little break, I came back and won the national Novices for under 20 bouts in 2013, beating (11-0 Chertsey pro) Nick Webb in the final. He was 147kg, about eight stone heavier than me, quite intimidating!
Following another year out, I returned in early 2016 and my first fight back was for England where I lost a ‘naughty’ decision to a Norwegian (Simen Nysaeter) in Oslo, my only loss in 17 amateur contests.
Later that year, I won the senior ABA Elite title and added the Tri-Nations by beating a Welsh lad. I was invited for Team GB assessments up in Sheffield but, as I’m a self employed floor layer with a mortgage, I just couldn’t afford it.
For your pro career, you’ve aligned yourself with coaches Paul and Mick Stevenson at the Everton Red Triangle gym that’s produced champions such as Jazza Dickens, Ryan Farrag and Kevin Satchell. How did that alliance come about?
As an amateur, I used the Everton Red Triangle gym for sparring. It always had a good vibe – everybody picks on the big lad, especially ‘Jazza’ (!) – and every single pro lad there was unbelievably talented. When you surround yourself with that type of quality, some of it rubs off on ya.
It must be the best gym in the country. I trust Paul and Mick (Stevenson) 100% and their knowledge is unbelievable.
The British heavyweight scene has seldom been more vibrant, with established stars like AJ, the Fury cousins, Bellew, Haye, Whyte, Chisora and rising talents such as Allen, Gorman and Dubois. Plenty of money and glory to be reaped for those who make it to the major titles!
That’s true. The domestic heavyweight situation improves day by day, so many big names with big talents. But I only care about what Alex Dickenson is doing, and trying to achieve. I’m not one for calling kids out. I’m a nice lad, not a fake or an idiot.
Why are you confident that you can make headway amongst such exalted company?
I’m only 6ft 1(in) and about 16 stone but I’m very fit and often the bigger heavyweights struggle with that. I’m also very fast with a good engine.
Over the next year, I hope to add a stone of muscle to increase my strength and I expect my punching will be a lot more effective in the pros with these smaller 10oz gloves. I concentrate on improving my technique. Perhaps my biggest attribute is my big heart and sheer determination. I’ve never had nothing given to me.
How do you occupy your time away the ring?
I’m a home bird who likes to relax with my family and enjoy the fresh air of the Lake District which is just an hour’s drive away. I don’t have a wild life. Above all, I want to make my family and friends proud, put smiles on their faces. That’s the most important thing to me.
You get to debut on the televised bill at Belfast’s fabulous Waterfront Hall this weekend. That must set your juices running?
I’ve already sold over 80 tickets for Ireland and it’s ‘boss’ walking through my little village having everyone wishing me luck. I’ll multiply that, if they put me on in Liverpool.
Obviously I’m excited but I don’t let things get to me. In sparring, I’ve been pretty much holding my own with (British cruiserweight champion) Matty Askin so I’m confident that I’m ready.
I’m just taking things easy. Two and a half years ago, I was working on sites at Canary Wharf. Today, I’m an ABA champion, England international and signed to one of the biggest promoters in the world. It’s crazy what’s happened to me and I just try to enjoy it. I’m really happy to be on the train and I don’t intend to get off for a while!
What can fans and BoxNation viewers expect to see from Alex Dickenson in Belfast on Saturday night?
Everyone tunes in to the heavyweights hoping to see spectacular knockouts and, whether it’s first round or fourth, that’s what I intend to deliver for TV.