Sport

Ricky Hatton fighter James ‘Jazza’ Dickens left confused after Kid Galahad refuses English title fight

By Ed Owen

Ricky Hatton’s exciting super-bantamweight prospect James ‘Jazza’ Dickens was left bewildered yesterday after rival Kid Galahad turned down a clash for the English super-bantamweight title.

With the belt standing vacant the British Boxing Board of Control had ordered the pair to meet, but the Sheffield-based Galahad withdrew before potential purse bids on Wednesday.

The unexpected move has left the Hatton-promoted boxer baffled and searching for a reason why Galahad – one of the hottest-tipped fighters on the British scene – would withdraw.

“I can’t understand why he doesn’t want the fight,” said the 21-year-old. “We’re both in a good position to give the public something to see.

“I’m sure he has his reasons because he’s a good fighter and I respect him. I don’t think it’s because he’s scared, I just think he must want it further down the line instead.

“This is the first time I’ve been let down when it comes to arranging a fight, but I’m sure Steve Wood, my manager, and Ricky Hatton, my promoter, will come up with another opportunity for me.”

Although Galahad may now have pulled out, the unbeaten Dickens remains slated to fight for the English title nonetheless.

And in light of recent events, Dickens, from Liverpool, will come into the fight full of praise for his yet-un-named opponent, who will now lack time to prepare.

He said: “I hope I’ll get to fight for the English title against another fighter who has as much desire as I do.

“Whoever it is, I respect them for taking it because now Kid Galahad has pulled out, they’ll probably have to come in at short notice.”

The southpaw has an intimidating record for a young fighter – he is currently 13-0-0 (5 KOs) after demolishing Venezuelan Franklin Varela on the undercard of Hatton’s unsuccessful November comeback.

And notching a perfect points shut-out with two knockdowns has seen Dickens rewarded with a shot at the English title, but the ambitious boxer views it as a stepping-stone to bigger things.

“I’m hoping that when I box for the English it can also be an eliminator for the British,” he said.

“It doesn’t look like Scott Quigg or Carl Frampton are going to fight each other for it, so I think it will become vacant and I see myself as being next in line for a shot.

“Now I’ve learned my trade I’m ready for titles – other fighters seem to have had the limelight more, but I like it like that and now I can creep up and shock them.”

Picture courtesy of Mark Robinson/Hatton Promotions, with thanks.

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