Part One: Dale Evans aiming to honour Mike Towell’s memory with title win

Part One: Dale Evans aiming to honour Mike Towell’s memory with title win

When St Clears’ Dale Evans (13-3-2, 4KO) met ‘Iron’ Mike Towell, the pair were complete strangers from opposite ends of the United Kingdom with hometowns 450 miles apart.

Following Mike’s death after a fifth round stoppage defeat, the welterweights will remain linked together forever by the tragic outcome of their British title eliminator in September 2016.

10 months later, it’s understandably been a heavy burden for Evans to bear and the Welshman has had many testing mental moments in private. For every candidly respectful media interview, Evans will have undergone equally challenging conversations behind closed doors with his family.

Mike’s own loved ones, including Chloe – the mother of their son Rocco, have repeatedly offered selflessly moving support. It started at the Scottish warrior’s funeral when Mike’s mother, Tracy, emotionally embraced Evans. It continued when they extended well wishes to ‘Big Boy’ as he carried on his career, leading to his next outing – a challenge to reigning British champion, Bradley Skeete (26-1, 12KO) on 8 July in London.

“This is what we’ve been waiting for. It was Mike’s dream, that’s what we had the eliminator for, and it’s also my dream,” said 25-year-old Evans. “If I can get the British title on Saturday night and take the belt home with me, the first thing I’ll be doing is booking a flight to Dundee and going to visit Mike with it.

“This has stuck in my mind ever since that night when I won that eliminator. This is what I’ve wanted to do. I’ll stick to my word and I’ll definitely take it up to him, spend a few hours with him and the belt.

“I’ve had some support from Mike’s fans, which I think is incredible. It’s fantastic, really nice. It’s touching and there’s a handful coming down from Scotland to support me, which is brilliant.”

From Evans’ professional debut in 2011, the red carpet treatment has been rare. He’s frequently sandwiched training sessions either side of manually challenging day jobs, from making UPVC doors to laying concrete, which have often totaled 50+ hour-long weeks.

A major difference over the last year has been the backing of a two local Carmarthen businessmen, Jason Evans and Wyn Thomas. The two have enabled Dale to become a full-time boxer and relocate to Magor, living with his girlfriend’s family near Tony Borg’s St Joseph’s Boxing Club in Newport.

Determined to make full use of the situation as the pieces start to fall in to place, Evans said: “I’ve had the financial backing of Castle Scaffolding. They’ve got behind me for the best part of a year and I’ve lived the life, I’ve kept myself in shape and relatively fit.

“I’ve trained every single day for the past year, whereas before I’d have a few weeks notice for a fight, kill myself to get down to the weight, train like a lunatic and go in the ring exhausted.

“[In the past] I’ve had a few things going on outside of boxing, diet being a massive issue most of the time but this time, I’ve had four weeks notice and I started off relatively fit when I had the notice.

“It’s just been a case of preparing for Bradley Skeete, get a bit of weight off and my head is in a much better place than it has going in to any other fight ever.”

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