With Herbie Hide pulling out after a first round win over Wayne Brooks due to a cut over his right eye, Jon-Lewis Dickinson ruined bettors' days by winning the latest edition of the Prizefighter tournament.
The tournament was great fun to watch, but not because of a lot of exciting fights. Instead, it was due to mismatches, tough efforts, and a nobody finalist.
First Round: Dickinson (7-0, 2 KO) started the night by beating Leon Williams via decision in the fight of the night. The third round was a great little battle, and Dickinson made it out with a split decision win (in my opinion, he clearly won the first two rounds). Before that, veteran Mark Krence had battered big, awkward, totally untalented Zahid Kahut, exhausting himself in the process. Darren Corbett (who was two pounds overweight but fought anyway) did much the same with John Anthony in the first round. Hide (49-4, 43 KO) demolished a game but incredibly overmatched Wayne Brooks, who managed to overcome a first round knockdown and a ton of clean, hard punches to last all three rounds. A head clash in the second busted Hide open.
After the fight, doctors backstage gave Hide the green light, but the fighter pulled out just 10 minutes before he was set to fight Corbett in the semifinals. Hide is right in the mix for a cruiserweight title shot somewhere, and he was likely thinking of his real career. Prizefighter, as he said all week, was meant to be nothing more than a tune-up. He was the massive favorite. Not winning the tournament means nothing for him.
Semifinals: Dickinson barely had to break a sweat to take care of Krence in the first round, as the veteran was still gassed out from his opening round win. Knockaround guy Nick Okoth (8-27-5, 3 KO coming in) upset a similarly-gassed Corbett to make it to the final against Dickinson, who already held a win over Okoth before the tournament.
Finals: Dickinson dominated Okoth, earning his second knockout of the night and the second of his young career. He earned £32,000 for this, beating a fireman who shift-switched just to make it out for the show. Okoth did his very best, but wasn't near good enough. I don't know if Dickinson has any real future, as the two guys he beat that didn't just fall over gasping for air were nobody, but he's one to watch. He showed some real ability, had a nice amateur career, and may well be a domestic contender at cruiserweight soon enough.
Prizefighter returns in May with 122-pounders. Earlier on his Twitter, Wayne McCullough confirmed he'll be fighting in the tournament.