Coach Dean Lewis on rise of Dean Dodge ahead of fight with Sean Davis
PUBLISHED: 20:53 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 21:44 19 February 2020
“He’s already the most successful boxer to come out of Yeovil I know off,” began coach Dean Lewis, who also said he and Weston-based Dean Dodge will make it a ‘number one priority’ to win against Sean Davis on Friday.
Dodge will look to stretch an unbeaten start to his career at the Wellsprings Leisure Centre in Taunton, when he faces former WBC International champion and English challenger Davis.
But, Lewis, who has been Dodge's coach all his professional career, believes he can go out there and get the job done.
"Dodge is renowned, he likes to have a fight, he likes to get involved and have a row when's he's in the ring and he's shown that in a couple of his fights.
"He's also shown he can actually box, pick his shots really well and that's we've worked on in this camp.
"Sean Davis isn't the sort of kid you can go in there and take out, he's been there, done it, been at a good level and Dean is going to go out there this time and look to box his head off.
"But we are going out there to win, a number one priority.
Dodge's journey to the top has been a long road, with lots of sacrifices along the way, which has seen him work countless hours to make his dream a reality.
"I'm really excited for this fight for Dean as he has put so much effort into it," added Lewis.
"He's been boxing for a long time since he was a small boy and it was his dream to become professional.
"I've had him for every fight, his ups and downs in camp and he has gone through a few injuries.
"It's hard being a professional boxer, so to actually get to this stage in his career is exciting and it's a good step-up fight.
"It's what's he needs before he steps up to the next level which he is pretty much on the brink
"A win on Friday against Sean Davis is going to set up in title contention without a doubt."
Dodge has had to ensure so many ups and downs in his short career so far, including working alongside his training in order to give him the best chance of making it as a boxer.
"We are lucky enough now, he's in a position where he's training full time, but going back to the start of his career he was working in a factory, he was living in Yeovil at the time so he was getting up at five in the morning, going to work and travelling down after a long day at work.
"Working all day, travelling down its hard to get the most of out a session and when he moved to Weston he was plastering, so he was doing that again and it didn't really work.
"He was working from seven in the morning to five, six at night and then he came into the gym.
"I've been at the gym all day and you are both tired, none of you don't really want to train but you know you have to."
Other difficulties saw Dodge travelling from his home in Yeovil to Weston, but Lewis gave him a place to stay, which has helped the pair grow closer, where the 26-year-old described him as a 'role model, and one of his 'best friends.'
"It's great to hear that," said Lewis. "And for me as well, he's done a lot for me. Because as a young coach he put his trust in me.
"When he first came to me, bearing in mind he lived an hour away, he spent the first half of his career travelling up and he actually moved in with me, when it got a little bit hard, the travelling side of things.
"He's recently moved back to Yeovil, but he's still travelling backwards and forwards, there's a lot of dedication from his part.
"We spend a lot of time on the road travelling all over the county getting good sparing and just trying to give him the best opportunity he can to be successful as a professional boxer and get something good out of this sport.
"He wants to be the first man in Yeovil to ever win a professional boxing title and we are on the brink of that now, something definitely I think is possible.
But what has impressed Lewis is Dodge's attitude and despite there have been times when Dodge, who has eight wins and one draw from his opening nine fights, wanted to give up, but his willingness to keep going even when it's been tough.
"It's good to see how he stuck with it, because there's been so many times where you are having a bad day, a bad week.
"He's thought about knocking it on the head and I'm just trying to explain it to him, how far you've actually come to get where you are now.
"You've overcome a lot of things on the way up and he's done hard part now, hopefully he can go beyond the Sean Davis fight, get the win comfortably and look good doing it."