Rhiannon Dixon: A Potential World Champion Who Just Wants A Fight
A wet and cold Friday night in a Sheffield Car Park, an evening of mad scientists, the smell of fish and chips and a little boxing with the return of fans thrown in for good measure.
The first real taste of freedom for many, the fans glued together, beers held tightly, masks in pocket, Covid forgotten, normality a little too uncomfortable this early in a roadmap out of a seemingly never-ending period of doom. The Great British weather threatened to derail the evening, as each downpour unleashed its untimely fury. The fighters did their best to handle the unfamiliar conditions, some slipping and sliding their way to the expected victory. Two men who had the look of mad scientists, attired all in white, tried to keep the ring dry and free from other things. Wet wipes and towels in hand, a little dancing added to the theatre, both clearly enjoying their moment. It amused, it entertained. Hopefully, they will return. A little bit of sun on a truly horrible night. The sight of umbrellas, plastic coverings and the shivering few who dared to venture out of the relative warmth of their VIP tents and you had to remind yourself it was late May and not a cold winters night in December. The night deserved better.
But the night had a promoter who is used to swimming against the tide. Dennis Hobson got his show back on the road. The new kid on the block, Fightzone started its journey. Success of the new boxing dedicated platform is needed. Too many fighters have been denied the opportunity to work in a pandemic hit world that left only the chosen few with the financial muscle able to put on shows. More importantly, it left only the chosen few being able to fight.
The blood and soul of boxing have been starved of work, Fightzone now allows them the opportunity to kick-start their careers. Weekly shows, guaranteed work, boxing has survived, now it needs to grow again. The first steps taken, point towards a promising few months, seeds now planted, Hobson and Fightzone you sense will play a vital role in the coming months.
One fighter was there unnoticed, she was in Sheffield not to punch, but to watch, cheering her friend James Moorcroft on to his comeback victory. Rhiannon Dixon cut a frustrated figure, happy with her friends win but clearly itching to be in the mix herself. Dixon is unbeaten in two fights but has been inactive since December 2019, the obvious keeping her out of action for all of 2020. A scheduled March fight last year fell foul of you know what, a promising career put in hibernation, but this year promised much. With changes made inside her camp, Dixon had the look of someone who would hit the ground running this year. Now being trained by Anthony Crolla, who rates her as a possible star, the career of Dixon should, by now, have been reawakened. But Dixon is one of many fighters left on the sidelines, waiting for a call that has so far not yet come.
Dixon has had hope, told to stay ready, sacrifices made to stay on weight, she has been ready since February. On weight, ready to go, but still no definitive call. A never-ending training camp with no end product, the mental and physical scars kept well hidden, but you can imagine what she is going through. Dixon just wants to fight, she would fight anybody. Her occasional training and sparring partner Natasha Jones has said anyone who has a belt is a target, you suspect with Dixon, anyone who has a face that wants to be punched is a target. She fears she will be left behind, forgotten as others get the green light, her sport is booming, one chance is all she wants.
With a crowd-pleasing all action style, a fighter who can punch, you have to wonder why that call hasn’t yet arrived. The likes of Jonas, April Hunter and Rachel Ball have all said how talented she is, tough sparring gets you that respect. The talent and potential is obvious in a sport that has given Dixon so much. Naturally shy, boxing has given her confidence and a dream. She has reduced her hours as a pharmacist in an NHS Hospital to dedicate herself to boxing, Dixon wants to leave the sport with no regrets, “You are only young once. I have got to try and give it everything,” she told FightPost earlier this year.
The Warrington native feels she is a completely different fighter since she started working with Crolla last year, the former world champion is convinced he has a potential star on his hands, Moorcroft told me he thinks Dixon will be a world champion, with insiders saying the same things, everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. At 26, Dixon has time, but she also needs to fight. Crolla has told her, her time will come, but it needs to be sooner rather than later. Whoever makes the call is irrelevant, the call just needs to be made.