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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Tony Dodson
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FEATURE   Photo: Former World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Super Middleweight Champion Tony Dodson. 

Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


Tony “The Warrior” Dodson, from the Garston district in Liverpool in England, first saw the light of day on July 2, 1980, and went on to become a well-known, accomplished and respected name on the thriving Merseyside boxing scene.

In a professional career spanning almost seventeen years, he was involved in some big fights, and captured several championships, including the British title and the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Super Middleweight crown.

Dodson started boxing amateur at Golden Gloves ABC in Liverpool, alongside the likes of fellow future pro Shea Neary, and went on to win numerous tournaments, including seven Schoolboy championships, the Junior ABA´s and Junior Olympic gold.

In 1999, only a few weeks after his nineteenth birthday, he turned professional, stopping Michael McDermott (4-3) in 32 seconds on a relatively big show at the Sands Centre in Carlisle, headlined by three title bouts featuring Michael Brodie, Derek Roche and Charles Shepherd.

Form his second fight, Dodson was promoted by Barry Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing, an alliance which would, to some degree, last for the reminder of his career. But, while the talent was clear, it would not be smooth sailing all the way for Dodson.

After six routine victories in his first thirteen months in the paid ranks, Dodson lost a bit of momentum when he fought to an unexpected draw against British-based Latvian Elvis Mihailenko (2-0) on October 9, 2000 in Liverpool.

Despite the disappointment of not winning, there was really no shame in the result, as Mihailenko went on to have a fine career himself with several impressive victories, and retired in 2005 at 18-1-1, high in the world rankings.

Dodson won his next six fights, and picked up the Central Area title in December of 2001 by defeating Jon Penn (10-6-1) in the second round of a fight broadcast by Sky Sports. He was twenty-one years old, undefeated and fighting on TV, things looked promising, to say the least.

But on March 9, 2002, in Manchester, on the undercard of the Wayne Rigby vs. Sedat Puskullu WBF World Light Welterweight title fight, Dodson was firmly brought down to earth when he lost a six-rounder on points to late substitute Varujan Davtyan (0-1).

It was nothing short of a catastrophe for the progress of Dodson´s career that the Birmingham-based Armenian managed to beat him, but only a month later he was provided with an opportunity to rebound and prove that the loss was a fluke.

Barry Hearn matched him with tough American Brian “The Bull” Barbosa (29-5) who had operated at fringe world level for years, and without a question the best opponent so far for Dodson. And, in Liverpool, he rose to occasion and silenced his critics with a good performance and a 79-76 points victory.

Five months on, Dodson returned to the ring in Liverpool against BeNeLux champion, and former WBF world title-challenger, Mike Algoet (20-12) from Belgium, with the vacant WBF Intercontinental Super Middleweight crown on the line.

It proved to be a tough and closely-contested bout, but Dodson eventually prevailed after ten rounds, winning by one point. Beating Barbosa and Algoet in back-to-back outings firmly revitalized Dodson after the shocking loss to Davtyan, but it would not last long.

Six weeks later, in his first WBF title-defense, Dodson was on the wrong end of another upset, albeit this time against a more accomplished foe in undefeated Pole Albert Rybacki (11-0), who stopped the Englishman in round nine.

Rybacki soon after retired, temporarily, and relinquished the WBF belt. Hearn and Matchroom refused to give up on Dodson, and arranged for him to contest the vacant title in April of 2003 against Frenchman Pierre Moreno (23-6).

Moreno was not considered a puncher by any account, having stopped only four of his twenty-three victims, but he never the less managed to halt Dodson in the penultimate round. Two stoppage defeats on the trot, and Dodson´s career appeared to be in dire straits.

But Matchroom continued to believe in him, and in July of 2003 he reversed his first defeat when Varujan Davtyan (now 3-9) retired on his stool after three rounds with a rib injury. Four months later Dodson won the British Super Middleweight title, stopping Alan Foster (10-0-1) in eleven rounds.

Over the next twelve years, Dodson failed to average two fights a year, fighting only twenty-one times after the win over Foster. In his most significant fights he lost to Carl Froch (19-0), Tony Quigley (12-1), Ovill McKenzie (19-11), and two Liverpool grudge-matches against Paul Smith (32-3).

His last appearance in the ring was on January 16, 2016 in London, beating Richard Horton (9-5) on points in one of the supporting bouts to David Haye´s much-hyped comeback fight against Mark De Mori. But it was really not supposed to be the end.

In fact, Matchroom had secured him another big fight, as Dodson was scheduled to fight up-and-comer Horsea Burton for the British Light Heavyweight title on May 29, 2016 on the undercard of the Tony Bellew vs. Ilunga Makabu WBC world title fight at Goodison Park in Liverpool.

But faith would have it that Dodson snapped his Achilles in preparations, and was forced to pull out. When healed, he trained for a comeback, and wanted to get at least one last fight in 2017, but for whatever reason it never happened.

In early 2018 he formally announced his retirement from boxing, thirty-five years old and with a record of 32-8-1 (15).

When he officially ended his career as a boxer, Dodson had already qualified as a firefighter and worked full time with Merseyside Fire & Rescue.

  Part 61: Pete Taliaferro
  Part 60: Fredrik Alvarez
  Part 59: Ajose Olusegun
  Part 58: Chevelle Hallback
  Part 57: Evander Holyfield
  Part 56: Peter Culshaw
  Part 55: Rolando Toyogon
  Part 54: Joaquin Velasquez
  Part 53: Steve Molitor
  Part 52: Nadya Hokmi
  Part 51: Bert Cooper
  Part 50: Alfred Kotey
  Part 49: Yosuke Nishijima
  Part 48: Wayne Rigby
  Part 47: Jesus Chong
  Part 46: Renata Szebeledi
  Part 45: Lester Ellis
  Part 44: Patrick Vungbo
  Part 43: Patrick Washington
  Part 42: Ric Siodora
  Part 41: Guy Waters
  Part 40: Natascha Ragosina
  Part 39: Nicky Cook
  Part 38: Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym
  Part 37: Felix Camacho
  Part 36: Homer Gibbins
  Part 35: Joe Bugner
  Part 34: Myriam Lamare
  Part 33: Darrin Morris
  Part 32: Suwito Lagola
  Part 31: Aaron Zarate
  Part 30: Tommy Small
  Part 29: Matthew Charleston
  Part 28: Jane Couch
  Part 27: Fahlan Sakkreerin
  Part 26: Kenny Keene
  Part 25: Yvan Mendy
  Part 24: Ronnie Magramo
  Part 23: Randall Yonker
  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson

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