LIVERPOOL fighter determined to get it right in second pop at Prizefighter
Carl Dilks says he will banish the memory of his cruel semi-final defeat in his last Prizefighter outing when he lines-up in the Super-Middleweights II in Liverpool's Olympia on March 23.
Dilks defeated Bob Ajisafe in the quarter-finals of the Light-Heavyweights event in February 2009 and faced Darren Stubbs in the semi-finals. The Liverpool fighter was announced the winner of the bout only for the result to be reversed while he was backstage after a mix-up with the scorecards.
The 27 year-old has since beaten Carl Drake before losing to James DeGale last September – but he still has a bitter taste in his mouth from his semi-final defeat to Stubbs and is determined to make up for it live on Sky Sports in front of his home crowd.
"I think I have a score to settle with the competition in a way, I truly believe I won that semi-final," said Dilks. "I still think I was blatantly robbed of the chance to smash Tony Oakey up in the final but you live and learn.
"To be announced as the winner and then go into the changing rooms and be told they got the scorecards mixed up and you've lost was gutting. Having the chance to fight in the final for the trophy and a lot of cash taken away from me like that was tough to take. I'll just have to make sure that I win the fights clearly and leave nothing to chance."
Dilks fought Olympic Gold medallist James DeGale at Birmingham's LG Arena in a British title eliminator and although he got under the skin of the Londoner in the build up, DeGale's pace surprised Dilks and he was stopped in the first round.
"Prizefighter is my way back into title contention after the DeGale fight," said Dilks. "There are some good fighters in this and I've got a point to prove to show that I can mix it at the top level in the super-middleweights.
"The DeGale loss was a hard pill to swallow. The kid is class – the speed he has is unreal and I think I was more shocked at how fast he was than anything and I froze a bit. I loved the attention before the DeGale fight though and I truly believed that I was going to go in there and smash him up, but on the night it never happened for me."
The Liverpool Olympia will be packed on the night and with fellow Liverpudlians Robin Reid and Tony Quigley in the line-up, Dilks is looking forward to rising to the occasion on a special night for boxing in the city. Quigley and Dilks travelled to Sky Sports studios in London together for the promo shoot and could potentially meet on the night, but despite a close friendship and previous working relationship, Dilks says both men will be focused on the title and £32,000 winner's cheque.
"The atmosphere is going to be electric – it's going to be a fantastic night for all the boxing fans in Liverpool and I'm really looking forward to being a part of it," said Dilks. "Tony and I are really good friends, so if we have to meet hopefully it'll be in the final – but we both know its business first, friends second. Tony was in my corner in my first Prizefighter appearance but we can step in the ring, go to war then when the fight is over we'll have a hug and be mates again."
Dilks, Quigley and Reid are joined in the line-up by former World Champion Adrian Dodson, unbeaten Welsh prospect Tobias Webb, Sheffield duo Wayne Reed and Patrick J Maxwell and Leicester hitter Jahmaine Smyle.
Tickets for Prizefighter Super Middleweights II at Liverpool Olympia on Wednesday 23 March are available from Matchroom Sport priced £30 unreserved, £50 ringside and £100 VIP – to buy call Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.
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