Preview: Tony Dixon vs Mike Jones made at the last minute for Welsh title to kickstart Sanigar and S4C’s Y Ffeit show

Preview: Tony Dixon vs Mike Jones made at the last minute for Welsh title to kickstart Sanigar and S4C’s Y Ffeit show

It’s fight week and 2017’s first show on Welsh soil is just six days away!

After some last minute chopping and changing to the line up, Sanigar Events will kick off the first show of their exciting partnership with S4C’s ‘Y Ffeit’ on Saturday at the Rhydycar Leisure Centre in Merthyr Tydfil.

Originally, Mountain Ash’s Tony Dixon (8-1, 2KO) was set to lock horns with St Clears’ Dale Evans for the Welsh welterweight title in a mouthwatering match-up. However, the Prizefighter finalist was ruled when an on-going elbow injury took its toll in training camp.

Then Leeds’ once-beaten Damon Jones, who unsuccessfully challenged for Nick Blackwell’s British middleweight title in 2015, was drafted in. However, the southpaw has come down with the flu and is now out of the picture.

Every cloud has a silver lining and another vacant Welsh title is back in contention for Dixon. The 24-year-old, who admitted he was strained at the 147lbs limit in his only loss to Celtic champion Paddy Gallagher in May 2016, will step up a division and fight seven pounds north at super-welterweight.

The title was last held by Ferndale’s Barrie Jones, who dethroned Jerome Samuels with a third round technical knockout in March 2015. Jones hasn’t fought since  defending it with a sixth round stoppage of James Lilley in November 2015.

Dixon, known as ‘The Welsh Terrier’, takes on Wrexham’s Mike Jones (2-2), who started his professional career with a brace of defeats but has since bounced back with consecutive victories.

32-year-old Jones is making a 115-mile journey south but it will still be his first outing in his own country, having been forced to travel to Stoke, Lincolnshire and Scotland in the past.

Neither Dixon nor Jones will have a lot of knowledge on the other as they’ve swam in separate waters. The visitor to South Wales will even enter the 10 round contest as an unknown quantity to some clued up observers.

What is known is that Dixon has a lot more professional experience with 37 rounds under his belt and quartet of completed six rounders. On the other hand, Jones has never seen the fifth session and was pushed to the wire in is last fight, edging the winless Paul O’Brien by a single point.

Dixon is likely to be the aggressor, he often stalks opponents to the edges of the ring before stepping in with two-fisted attacks when there’s little room to escape. His approach will take some stopping, especially when he’s encouraged by what should be a partisan crowd.

For those reasons, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Dixon outlast Jones. It’s worth noting that with Welsh title pride on the line, Jones has every incentive to go above and beyond his previous boundaries, so expect the action to be competitively gutsy throughout.

Aberdare’s heavyweight Dorian Darch (12-4, 1KO) will aim to secure five straight wins. He faces Stockport’s useful Chris Healy (6-3, 2KO) over eight rounds in the event’s Chief Support.

The rest of the undercard features a collection of up-and-comers and new starters. The most established are 2015 Welsh Championship winners Jamie ‘JJ’ Evans (3-0) and Gavin Gwynne (3-0, 1KO), who face debuting James Davies and Jamie Quinn (2-32-2) at super-welterweight and lightweight, respectively.

Swansea lightweight Kristian Touze (1-0) and Penygraig’s welterweight Stuart Brewer (1-0) will embark on their second mission in the paid code. Completing the card, Phillipstown’s welterweight Ricky Rowlands and Blaenavon’s super-lightweight Josh Keen will make their debuts.

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