Matchroom: Galahad vs Dickens Predictions
Galahad vs Dickens: Main Event
Kid Galahad (27-1, 16KO) vs James Dickens (30-3, 11KO)
vacant IBF World Featherweight Title
Inside work and expertise in the pocket was the deciding factor in the first match-up between Galahad and Dickens. Although Galahad has found pockets of success since securing victory in 2013, a drugs ban and a dubious decision loss to Josh Warrington has prevented Galahad from emerging as a star. More than willing to use elbows, shoulders and importantly, his head, on the inside, Galahad is a tricky fighter to contain. By relishing the aspects of the dark arts, Galahad has complimented his exceptional hand speed. Dickens may face a scenario in which he either eats extended combinations or be met with a sharp elbow after attempting to shoot and clinch.
A fluid switch-hitter, Galahad fights out of a squat stance with a pawing lead. Constantly bobbing the lead hand vertically, Galahad is primed to bat away incoming straight shots while also creating awkward angles to spear his jab. By controlling the pace of fights with his lead hand, he forces opponents into the role of the aggressor which plays into his slick evasive footwork. Fast feet and liquid head movement create opportunities for counters. After out-classing or going equal at range, Galahad’s dirty boxing roughs up opponents and frustrates them further. Josh Warrington is a messy boxer at the best of times, but he was swinging for the fences by the mid-point of his scrap with Galahad. A key shot to keep an eye on is the body uppercut. Ploughing straight into the solar plexus, Galahad uses the short shot to take away an opponent’s breath, masking it with crisp footwork and cute angles.
Jazza Dickens was left in a spot of purgatory after his comprehensive stoppage to Galahad. Since 2017, Dickens has finally started to rebuild his career and improve far beyond what was initially expected. Tough asks against Thomas Patrick Ward and Guillermo Rigondeaux transpired to be just that. The Rigondeaux finish was particularly brutal, breaking Dickens’ jaw in just two rounds. Of course, Dickens now technically holds a W over a world champion – having out-gritted Leigh Wood in an ugly, hostile affair. Unfortunately for Dickens, his lukewarm power has not carried up the levels. Without the power to really threaten Galahad, it will allow his opponent to commit to extended exchanges without fear of the return.
A new string to Jazza’s bow since their first fight is the frequent use of foot feints. Stomping in front of an opponent, Jazza switches between feinting and committing to hard jabs. Ryan Walsh was unable to time Dickens’ jab, which was doubled and tripled throughout the fight. Better yet, long spearing jabs to the body further confused Walsh and forced the usually aggressive front-foot fighter to sit back. Against the larger man in Wood, Dickens continued to walk down the Nottingham man and prevent him from utilising his reach. Dickens’ inability to keep opponents tied to the ropes, however, will prove his undoing against Galahad. Without consistent ring-cutting, often pressuring on a straight line, Galahad will never really find himself in dangerous positions.
Predicted Result: Galahad Decision
Inside work and expertise in the pocket was the deciding factor in the first match-up between Galahad and Dickens. Although Galahad has found pockets of success since securing victory in 2013, a drugs ban and a dubious decision loss to Josh Warrington has prevented Galahad from emerging as a star. By relishing the aspects of the dark arts (elbows/shoulders/head), Galahad has complimented his exceptional hand speed on the inside. At range, Galahad switch-hitting style frustrates fighters as they are unable to get inside his pawing lead. A key shot to keep an eye on is the body uppercut. Ploughing straight into the solar plexus, Galahad uses the short shot to take away an opponent’s breath, masking it with crisp footwork and cute angles.
Dickens has made huge strides since the comprehensive stoppage, however. After failing to rise to the occasion against Rigondeaux and Ward, Dickens’ is now riding the form of his life. Operating behind a series of feints, Dickens’ is now capable of closing distance far more safely. The foot stomp feint, in particular, is used to confuse opponents and hide hard jabs. Dickens’ inability to keep opponents tied to the ropes, however, will prove his undoing against Galahad. Without consistent ring-cutting, often pressuring on a straight line, Galahad will never really find himself in dangerous positions.
Result: Galahad def. Dickens // TKO (retired) Round 11 3:00
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Galahad vs Dickens: Co-Main Event
Fabio Wardley (11-0, 10KO) vs Nick Webb (17-2, 13KO)
English Heavyweight Title
You’d be forgiven if you haven’t gotten too hot on Fabio Wardley just yet. While the young prospect’s power is clear, his lax defence and tame jab were exposed by Eric Molina. Molina, once a solid name at Heavyweight, appeared to have arrived for a quick payday against Wardley. After the Brit failed to set a pace, searching for looping pot-shots rather than dominating with straight shots, Molina started to fancy his chances. After being stunned himself, Wardley’s power and Molina’s biscuit chin combined to save the young man’s undefeated record. Even though Nick Webb doesn’t own the experience or record that Molina has, his power is undeniable and there has been a clear career momentum shift. To fail to take Webb seriously, as he did Molina, would be suicidal when considering the big lump’s heavy hands and Wardley’s hands low style. Still, there are a lot of positives. Incredible speed for Heavyweight, clear attempts to set up traps on the outside and as now confirmed – able to operate under pressure or stunned.
Chippy tits, as Dave Allen so politely termed his rival, has finally had a slight career resurgence that looked as though it may never come. Pushed hard early in his career, Webb was knocking over tin cans left, right and centre. Fighting a late-notice, out-of-shape, still injured Dave Allen, Webb poured on a huge amount of damage for three rounds. Then, in typical Allen fashion, the Homer Simpson chin landed the overhand right of his career and starched Webb. To then be stopped by journeyman (albeit, a true banana skin journeyman), Kamil Sokolowski, just five months later seemed like it was the final nail in the coffin. After winning the Ultimate Boxxer, and gaining a bit of notoriety, Webb secured his biggest scalp over top amateur, Erik Pfeifer. Flying out the blocks early and peppering Pfiefer with a long jab, Webb looked sharper than ever. Capable of extending combinations off the jab, Webb does leave his chin somewhat exposed to counters, but most often his power has opponents restricted by their reactive guard. Webb’s jab and early aggression create an interesting dynamic, as the resurgent Webb will surely land on Wardley’s exposed chin. The speed differential may prove key on the night, and as the fight draws on, Webb’s tank starts to falter.
Predicted Result: Wardley TKO Round 4
Wardley, for all his flaws, remains an entertaining prospect. Eric Molina did expose his lax defence (largely, his hands low style) and tame jab, but Wardley also showcased his ability to remain calm under the biggest pressure of his career and find a comeback stoppage. Even though Nick Webb doesn’t own the experience or record that Molina has, his power is undeniable and there has been a clear career momentum shift. After winning the Ultimate Boxxer, and gaining a bit of notoriety, Webb secured his biggest scalp over top amateur, Erik Pfeifer. Aggressive with his long jab, Webb is capable of landing punishing combinations off of the shot and maintaining deadly pressure. Of course, the trade-off is a gas tank that begins to fall away after the first three rounds. Wardley’s speed differential and solid enough chin should just about see him through a very sketchy opening before he can ramp up the pace against a flailing Webb.
Result: Wardley def. Webb // TKO Round 1 2:30
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌
Galahad vs Dickens: Rest of the Card
Aqib Fiaz (6-0) vs Kevin Baldospino (9-5-2, 1KO)
Super Featherweight (130)
After a back-and-forth affair with the scrappy, Kane Baker, the twenty-one-year-old prospect came through the biggest test of his career to date. Winding back the opposition a little, Fiaz will be able to experiment with his offence in the ring far more freely than against Baker’s relentless pressure. A sharp counter-puncher, Fiaz oozes class, but his feather fists are an issue. Unable to earn the respect of Baker, Fiaz was walked down for the eight rounds of their affair. While it meant Fiaz dropped needless rounds, he was never really in danger at any point in the fight. Fiaz is an excellent judge of distance, catching opponents walking in before they can start their combination. Perhaps as Fiaz grows into the weight, his power will begin to emerge.
Ecuadorian, Kevin Baldospino, has spent most of his career on the Spanish domestic circuit with mixed success. Victories over a litany of journeymen are… okay, but Baldopsino’s ability to reach the final bell against top Italian prospect, Davide Tassi, is far more impressive. Having never been stopped in the pro ranks before, Baldospino is a decent test for Fiaz. Looking to counter himself, Baldospino is far too reliant on the rear uppercut to start combinations. With a susceptibility to body shots as well, Baldospino should be easily outworked on the night.
Predicted Result: Fiaz Decision
Winding back the opposition a little, Fiaz will be able to experiment with his offence in the ring. A sharp counter-puncher, Fiaz oozes class, but his lack of power has already started to prove an issue. Unable to earn the respect of Baker, Fiaz was routinely walked down and dropped needless rounds in the process. Perhaps as Fiaz grows into the weight, his power will begin to emerge. Baldospino has spent most of his professional career touring the Spanish circuit with mixed success. Reaching the final bell against Italian prospect, Davide Tassi is a decent achievement but he is out-matched in this affair. Looking to counter himself, Baldospino is far too reliant on the rear uppercut to start combinations. Susceptible to body shots, Fiaz should cruise to a clear decision victory.
Result: Fiaz def. Baldospino // Decision (referee’s scorecard – 77-76)
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Alen Babic (7-0, 7KO) vs Mark Bennett (7-1, 1KO)
Guys, when is it time that we start to realise that the Heavyweight division isn’t that deep? Alen Babic may very well be a limited fighter, but we can’t tell for sure if all that Babic is, is a fast-handed hard-hitting power puncher. The likelihood is that yes, Babic is an utterly limited one-trick pony. But we cannot tell just yet. Securing yet another early stoppage last time out, this time against the undersized but technically sound Damian Chambers, Babic has risen to 7-0. To push opponents to the ropes, Babic uses his jab and volume well. It is the dipping overhands that often catch opponents clean. Once stunned, Babic is a deadly finisher who fires massive combinations to the body and head. While it is largely just various hooks, Babic does own a powerful right straight that is thrown with a weird bend in the elbow.
After building a short but successful career over journeymen, Bennett fell in the Ultimate Boxxer final to Nick Webb. The format was designed for a fighter like Webb, however, and tells us relatively of Bennett’s quality. With victories over Kamil Sokolowski and Jay McFarlane, however, Bennett appears to be of a higher quality than his fellow domestic rivals. Enormously tall, Bennett doesn’t utilise his reach particularly well. Preferring to fight on the inside, Bennett will play directly into Babic’s preferred fight. Still, Bennett ate heavy combinations from Webb, arguably a harder hitter than Babic, and didn’t appear fazed. Moreover, leaning on opponents in the clinch, Bennett could tire the smaller Babic by forcing him to hold his weight. This very well could be Babic’s first test that goes late. Bennett’s pitter-patter volume isn’t hugely dangerous to Babic, but it depends just how gassed the Savage gets.
Predicted Result: Babic TKO Round 2
A Babic early finish should continue to be backed. Bennett is a slow, cumbersome fighter whose defence is restricted to a pretty leaky high guard. Still, Bennett has been able to eat clean shots from Sokolowski and Webb without much trouble. Babic’s hand speed and deadly finishing ability could easily force a referee’s stoppage even if Bennett isn’t knocked out clean. Bennett’s height, size and work in the clinch are intriguing, though. Babic is a tiny Heavyweight, and Bennett’s ability to weigh on opponents in the clinch could gas Babic’s short tank. If this goes deep, Bennett’s thundering power may begin to land more frequently. After a two-year lay-off, however, this is likely a clever case of match-making.
Result: Babic def. Bennett // TKO (retired) Round 5 3:00
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌
Johnny Fisher (2-0, 2ko) vs Danny Whitaker (4-3)
Fisher continues to hone his craft against tame opposition in the Heavyweight division. Entering the pro’s after a short amateur career, it will likely be a while before we see the Romford Bull against stiff competition. Fisher needs a lot of work in regards to distance management, often falling into his own work and taking the sting out of his shots. His strength is evident in the clinch, however, able to physically bully far more experienced opponents.
Whitaker is no stranger to shocking a prospect, having secured a surprise victory over the previously undefeated Jonathan Palata on the Ultimate Boxxer. While his tubby belly may put people off, Whitaker has a decent shot of testing Fisher’s mettle. Relatively slick head movement, a solid jab and decent volume – Whitaker’s only downfall is owning a biscuit chin in the premium power division. Dropping a decision to Chris Healey is never good for one’s confidence, however, and it would appear the Adeleye knockout has beaten the drive out of Whitaker.
Predicted Result: Fisher TKO Round 3
Entering the pro’s after a short amateur career, it will likely be a while before we see the Romford Bull against stiff competition. Fisher needs a lot of work in regards to distance management, often falling into his own work and taking the sting out of his shots. His strength is evident in the clinch, however, able to physically bully far more experienced opponents. Whitaker has shocked a prospect once before, defeating Jonathan Palata on the Ultimate Boxxer, yet it would appear the Adeleye knockout loss has beaten out Whitaker’s passion. Previously, Whitaker showed relatively slick head movement, a solid jab and decent volume. Cursed with a biscuit chin in the premium power division, however, Whitaker will most likely lack the confidence to take the fight to Fisher. In all seriousness though, if Whitaker presses on the front foot early, he has a real chance of out-classing an extremely green fighter at range.
Result: Fisher def. Whitaker // TKO Round 2 1:08
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌
Galahad vs Dickens
2021 Boxing Season
Takeaway comments: Wardley vs Babic next…?
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