After appearing on the big stage, you might think Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd would be reluctant to go back to the small hall circuit again. For the last few years, the 34-year-old has been a regular fixture on big arena shows on Sky Sports, but ‘Masher’ says he can’t wait to tread the boards again at the Liverpool Olympia on November 30.
The upcoming VIP Promotions card is headlined by a fan-friendly clash between local prospects Liverpool’s Tom McGuinness and Skelmersdale’s Colin Day yet, despite being a former Commonwealth Lightweight and WBC International Champion, Dodd has no problems appearing on the undercard and knows from experience the atmosphere will be electric.
“To be honest, I’m more excited to be on a small hall show,” said the popular Birkenhead fighter. “I’m looking forward to being in the thick of it amongst all the up and coming local talent. I know what the atmosphere will be like - it will be really lively - because these shows are what I had to do to earn the Sky Sports shots. To be honest it can be a bit lonely on those big shows. I’ve been looking forward to getting back on the VIP shows for a while now, I really have.”
Dodd, 15-4-1 (3), goes into the Olympia show on the back of two losses. In August he was beaten by rising star Joe Cordina; but losing his Commonwealth belt inside-the-distance to Hull’s Tommy Coyle in April is a defeat that still smarts.
With wins over former GB Team Captain, Tom Stalker, and the new European champion Francesco Patera on his ledger, as well as two highly contentious losses to Scott Cardle – Masher is still convinced he has more to give, and says his chase for titles isn’t finished yet.
“When I first started boxing I was doing it for the love of it and for how it was changing my life around. But then I started learning and improving and beating people that, on paper, should have been wiping the floor with me, and I was winning titles. I’ve won the Commonwealth and the WBC International, I’ve beaten a former world title challenger, and the current European champion. It’s definitely made me realise that there’s more to me.
“I lost to Tommy Coyle, and I’ll never take credit away from him, but Tommy didn’t beat me at my best. I defended the Commonwealth belt fantastically against Tom Stalker, but I just wasn’t there for the Coyle fight. Tommy beat me fairly, but to lose it knowing I wasn’t in there giving myself the best chance is hard.
“In my head, Patera is now the European champion and I’ve beaten him, and if I’d done what I know I’m capable of then I could have beaten Tommy Coyle as well. So, I feel that I want to go and win the European Title now, and I’d still like to win the British as well. I’ve got my heart set on the European or British, either one. It feels like I should have had the British before anyway [against Scott Cardle]; I feel I was robbed of that, and I do feel like I can go to European level.”
“It’s good to have Masher on this Liverpool show,” said promoter Steve Wood. “He’s had a great career already, and has some good wins. When you look at what Patera did to Lewis Ritson recently, then you can see how good Masher’s win over him now looks.
“He also should have been the British champion when most people thought he won the second Cardle fight. He recently accepted a fight with Cardle on the Bellew and Usyk undercard at just ten days notice, but Cardle’s team opted for Ricky Burns instead. We’ll ease Masher back in, then go chasing belts again in 2019.
“I’m really looking forward to this Liverpool card, the headliner between McGuinness and Day will be a great clash of styles, it’s a 50-50 fight and both will give it everything. And with the likes of Masher on the undercard, it’s going to be a really good night of boxing.”