By Anthony Cocks
Former world title challenger Jazza Dickens 26-3 (11) says he sees IBF number eight featherweight contender Nathaniel ‘Cheeky’ May 21-1 (12) as a stepping-stone to world championship glory.
The 28-year-old southpaw will have the hometown advantage when he takes on May for the vacant IBF European 126-pound title at the Olympia in Liverpool, UK on July 12.
Dickens, who was stopped in two rounds by WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux in his lone world title shot three years ago, says his career goals haven’t changed.
“I’m after what I’ve always been after. I’ve never won a world title, but I’ve fought for the world title. I’ve been about that level, but I’ve never won it,” Dickens told iFL TV.
“This fight is one step towards there. I want a good knockout, I’m not looking to go the distance here. I’ll get this IBF European title and I’ll be top 10 in the world to Josh Warrington who has the [IBF] belt.”
May has played his cards close to his chest since opening up camp at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.
The 23-year-old Australian even snuck down to Mexico for a quick tune-up fight at the Big Punch Arena in Tijuana three weeks ago, stopping journeyman Jose Miguel Tamayo in the opening frame.
Less than a week later May posted an update on his condition ahead of the Dickens fight.
“Not long now till showtime feeling faster and stronger than ever can’t wait for this fight gonna be a night to remember,” May wrote on social media.
Dickens, who has won four bouts in a row and is undefeated at featherweight, says he has seen enough footage of May to know what to expect on fight night.
“A little bit, yeah. Enough that I need to see. Enough to motivate me, enough to keep me on my toes… I’ve seen more than enough,” he said.
“Everything is in good position. My weight is good, my fitness is perfect, all my sparring went well… I just need to bide my time now and be sensible with peaking and getting in there on the 12th of July and doing a good job.”