The fight between Paul Smith and Tony Dodson for the British title is the pick of the Rees-Crolla undercard, albeit one Smith should dominate. I’m finding it quite difficult to understand why there’s any need for a rematch, Smith was the clear winner the last time the pair fought, just over three years ago, and Dodson looks like he's declined since that fight.
That said, take away Froch, Groves and DeGale and there aren’t too many other options for a British title bout. Although I would’ve preferred Rocky Fielding stepping up a level to face Smith rather than Dodson, who hasn’t fought at super-middle since their first meeting and looked close to shot when getting stopped by Ovill McKenzie last year.
Smith is the fresher, faster and quite simply much better fighter. With the local rivalry between the pair, Dodson’s pride may keep him in the fight for a few rounds, but I can see him taking a beating and getting stopped by the ref or pulled out by his corner around the sixth round.
Scott Quigg and Brian Rose keep busy with fights they both should win handily. Quigg has his first bout under Matchroom Promotions, taking on unknown Brazilian William Prado. From the limited video footage I’ve seen of Prado, he looks very crude, bordering on pub car park wild. He throws hook after hook and leaves himself wide open when doing so.
Prado does look like he can punch a bit, especially with his left hand, so Quigg may have to be watchful in the opening round. Eventually Quigg will start to catch Prado with clean shots, and not many fighters can allow Quigg to land shot after shot without it having an effect. Prado hasn’t been stopped in twenty-five fights but he’s not been in with anyone who can punch, and his overall ledger is very thin on quality opponents. His two defeats have come against Paulus Ambunda and the very average and feather-fisted Jeremy Parodi. If Prado is as bad as he looks, he’s going to get pummelled, most likely inside four rounds unless he possesses an otherworldly chin.
Rose takes on Alexey Ribchev, who British fans might remember for his shock win over Matthew Hall. Ribchev is a solid type, one who will give Rose rounds but won’t pose too much of a threat during them. Rose should be to classy and should stroll to a wide points win.
Erick Ochieng, Tom Stalker, Wadi Camacho and Dale Evans also appear on the bill.