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Football: 'Warrior' in line for shot at title; Promoter Hearn has big plans for Dodson.

Byline: NICK PEET

TONY DODSON is being lined up to top a bill here in Liverpool in a final eliminator for his old British super-middleweight title.

The Garston 'Warrior' will top a Sky Sports show - possibly on Friday, April 21 -when the English 12-stone crown will also be thrown into the mix to appease title-hungry armchair fight fans.

Dodson, who returned from five weeks training at his base in Belfast for a two-day break last night, was keeping his cards close to his chest but revealed that promoter Barry Hearn has big plans.

Dodson said: "I've been working my socks off in Belfast for over a month and I'm in great shape.

I'm probably around 12st 6lbs now - and that'll drop off next week when I step up my sparring.

"I'm boxing in three weeks in Hartlepool, probably in a six-rounder, and then after that the plan is to get me on here in Liverpool in an eliminator for my British title."

Michael Hunter tops the Hartlepool bill defending his European bantamweight belt on Friday, March 3 - and Dodson hopes to be able to get some time in front of the camera, seeing as the show is 24 hours ahead of Carl Froch's meeting with Brian Magee.

Dodson added: "I can see what Sky Sports are doing. They can take a look at me on the Friday, warming up for the winner of Froch-Magee the following night.

"It's been suggested that a show the following month in Liverpool would let me jump back in where I deserve -back in line for the Lonsdale Belt."

And I can also reveal that should the Liverpool show go ahead Dodson could well be topping the bill with the English title up for grabs.

Bizarrely, Ryan Kerr (of Scotland!) has just relinquished the domestic junior title to move back down to middleweight, while his mooted opponent Matthew Thirlwall is also moving down.

Now both will clash for the middleweight belt, leaving the English title awaiting Dodson and an opponent yet to be named, with Taplow scrapper Jamie Hearn possibly in the frame.

"I don't know too much about that just yet," Dodson conceded.

"Barry Hearn is making all the right noises, and I'm doing all the right things in the gym. Hopefully this is going to be my year."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 11, 2006
Words:391
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