By Thomas Lyons
There seems to be a lot of hype surrounding Amir Khan’s return to boxing after a two-year absence from the sport. He returns to the Echo Arena on April 14th to face talkative American Phil Lo Greco. However, the chief support is a cracking matchup between Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd and Tommy Coyle for the Commonwealth Lightweight title. There’s been great respect shown between the two fighters since the announcement was made, with both taking a humorous approach at the recent press conference, that got a little bit heated with water being thrown at the top table.
Dodd (15-2-1) and Coyle (23-4) decided to take it upon themselves to dress up in their favourite superhero costumes to the amusement of the Liverpudlian crowd that had turned up. Liverpool has always been regarded as one of the best fight cities on the planet and this is no different, even though it’s not one of their own headlining at the Echo, highlighting the passion and energy they bring. Dodd in his Batman costume and Coyle in his Superman outfit had very little to say, other than promising the crowd for a great fight and stylistically, this one should deliver on the night.
Coyle insisted that he still has the desire to capture the Commonwealth belt, despite some tough fights in the past with the likes of Luke Campbell and Tyrone Nurse for the British title. His last attempt was against Derry Mathews back in July 2013 but was stopped in the tenth round of that contest. Since then, he’s beaten some decent names in Michael Katsidis and Martin Gethin. Most recently, Coyle delivered a very impressive performance against Rakeem Noble, with a third-round TKO victory. This could be what Coyle needed to revitalise, teaming up with trainer Jamie Moore who has developed a close relationship with the Hull fighter.
A win for either would propel their career towards a British title shot. Masher Dodd has won five consecutive fights and gradually improved fight by fight. A unanimous decision victory over MTK’s Tom Stalker is a standout win for the Birkenhead man and now his sights are on defending the belt successfully against Coyle and eyeing that shot for the British later on this year.
The domestic lightweight scene has lit up with Lewis Ritson becoming the British champion after stopping Robbie Barrett in brutal fashion on the Crolla-Burns undercard in October of last year. Barrett has previously beaten a foe of Dodd’s in Scotty Cardle, who have fought twice and a third fight isn’t out of the question for either. Ritson is due to defend his title on a Matchroom card in Newcastle, headlining there against Joe Murray.
It just shows what one win can do to a fighter’s career and elevate them onto fight for British titles and so on. Coyle will be looking to disrupt the career path of Masher Dodd with a win and guide his own career towards those bigger opportunities in the division.