It will be a contrast of styles in Birmingham on Friday when British cruiserweight champion Rob Norton, an awkward southpaw, defends his title against David Dolan, a former amateur champion with an orthodox, stand-up method of boxing.
Norton, 37, is much more experienced as a professional but Dolan was a Commonwealth Games gold medallist as well as a three-time national amateur champion in the U.K.
Dolan has had only 12 pro bouts but he is 29 and needs to make a move. His trainer, Neil Fannan, who guided Michael Hunter to championships at 122 pounds, believes that Dolan is ready. Although Dolan has never boxed more than six rounds, Fannan is known for getting his boxers into tremendous condition. Michael Hunter, for instance, was known for his busy pace, bell to bell, in 12-rounders.
Norton has fought at a much higher level than Dolan and he has been the 12-round distance four times. In his last fight he easily outpointed the game but limited Micky Steeds to win the vacant British cruiser title. He seemed to have Steeds bothered and bamboozled from start to finish with his unorthodox moves and was able to land almost at will while his opponent tried to figure him out.
It is up to Dolan to get on with his boxing, letting his punches go and not allowing Norton to get control of the fight.
Dolan initially boxed as a heavyweight when he turned professional and his only loss was in the Prizefighter tournament in London (eight boxers competing in three-round bouts on the same night) when he won his first two contests but was outpointed by Ireland’s Martin Rogan in the final. Rogan was just too big and strong for Dolan, dropping him in the first and third rounds. Dolan fought with commendable spirit, though, and seemed to hurt Rogan a couple of times.
In his last fight, Dolan comfortably outpointed Rachid El Hadak, a good win as El Hadak won the French cruiserweight title in his next bout.
Norton has been around a long time but Dolan had a great deal of international experience in the amateurs. He boxed in big events such as the world and European championships and won for England against the U.S. when he beat Olympic representative Devin Vargas although Dolan lost to Matt Godfrey in another meeting between the two countries.
One thing that concerns me a bit about Dolan in Friday’s fight is that he always seemed to struggle against southpaws in the amateur tournaments, losing to left-handers such as Alexei Lezin (a Russian world champion) and Viktor Zuyev, an Olympic silver medallist from of Belarus, who had him down, while he was stopped in the first round by southpaw Alizade, of Azerbaijan, in the 2005 world championships in China.
Dolan did beat veteran southpaw Lee Swaby as a professional, however.
It could take Dolan a little while to get to grips with Norton’s unconventional way of fighting, but if he can get his right hand to work and put pressure on the older man he can start to get into the fight.
Norton is a muscled veteran who can punch with authority — six of his last seven wins came by stoppage. Dolan has taken heavy punches from bigger men in the heavyweight division, though, and he’s fought back. He showed endurance to battle through nine rounds against three opponents in the Prizefighter tournament — and this after getting badly wobbled in his first bout that night.
This is Dolan’s big chance and he obviously will be putting all he has into becoming a champion, but Norton was finally able to strap the Lord Lonsdale Belt around his waist after 15 years as a professional and he will not surrender the title easily.
ROB NORTON vs DAVID DOLAN,ROB NORTON vs DAVID DOLAN Boxing,ROB NORTON vs DAVID DOLAN Boxing Live Streaming,Rob Norton vs. David Dolan Rematch Jan 15,Ringside Boxing Report,Rob Norton v David Dolan Friday Night,Rob Norton v David Dolan Friday Night Boxing,watch Rob Norton vs David Dolan ppv boxing live stream,Rob Norton vs David Dolan live online January 15th,R Norton v D Dolan Boxing.