Jazza Dickens vs. Thomas Patrick Ward on May 13, Jazza Dickens aiming for Ward sibling double in Leeds tonight, It’s going to take far more than a snapped jaw to deflect Jazza Dickens from his dream of conquering the boxing world, writes Glynn Evans.
The gifted Scouse southpaw endured a double dislocation after swallowing a savage left cross in the early stages of his initial tilt at global glory against leading P4P contender and current WBA Super-Bantamweight boss Guillermo Rigondeaux in Cardiff last July, prompting handlers Paul and Mick Stevenson to retire him on his stool after just two sessions.
But the habitually upbeat and staunchly religious 26 year old, who returns after 10 months with a second defence of his British title against County Durham’s Thomas Patrick Ward in Leeds on Saturday, insists the tribulation has simply strengthened his resolve.
He says: ‘The ‘Rigo’ fight showed me that I have to really up my game, if I’m to come back better and fulfil my dream of becoming world champion, a dream I’ve carried since I saw a picture of John Conteh with that green WBC belt on the wall of the gym when I first started boxing. Back then, I couldn’t even skip but I knew I WOULD be world champion.
‘The break happened about 30 seconds into round two. I hoped the jaw might become numb with the adrenalin but the pain was actually getting worse – excruciating – and, in hindsight, Paul and Mick did the right thing to ‘pull’ me. Back in the dressing room, me jaw was ‘hanging off.’
After testing his talent against Cuba’s brilliant Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA title in Cardiff last July – he was withdrawn by his corner after two rounds with a fractured jaw – the shifty Scouse southpaw returns straight into a daunting looking mandatory defence of his domestic belt on the mega bill at Leeds’ First Direct Arena this Saturday.