Home Boxing News Dickinson points to mental preparation for overcoming obstacles

Dickinson points to mental preparation for overcoming obstacles

Saturday night will see Birtley Boxing Club’s Jon-Lewis Dickinson, 10(2) -2(2) fight for the vacant English Cruiserweight title with the undefeated Matty Askin, 13(9) in Oldham, England.

It is a title fight in which Dickinson admits might not have been possible last year when he said “You can’t take anything for granted. It’s like when I got in the ring with Turba, I didn’t expect to get a broken jaw and my boxing career was nearly over. That could have been it and I would never have competed again.”

That was in response to a frank and open discussion regarding the broken jaw he collected in his fight with Richard Turba in November 2010. An incident he said put things into perspective and was a terrible accident. Dickinson had also collected an eye injury in the fight before that with Tyrone Wright when the orthodox Tynesider lost via a TKO3 courtesy of swelling below his left eye. It was something that was brought on himself by being overly ‘cocky’ and thinking he had won the bout, giving Wright the chance to create that damage.

“I was winning comfortably and had him downed in the second. I was stupid though thinking it was over and I was going to finish it off. All it was going to take was another shot but luckily for him I went for the wild swing and then obviously received the bad eye which there’s nothing really you can do anything about.” That was just four months before Turba and the broken jaw. And, after the elation of winning the Prizefighter at the start of 2010, the end would finish in low, painful circumstance. It would be a time with which Dickinson admits he thought that his boxing career was over.
But since then he has fought back well, through mental preparation and visualisation, and the right diet. Dickinson’s first fight back , against Sunderland’s David Dolan, was to be the first time in which he had gone past four rounds in his brief career. But it was how he adapted to the change that was of interest. “I’m a true believer in that it’s what you train for and with a 10 round fight you train for ten, and with 4 rounds, you train for four. It’s a mental thing as well and if you can get that mental picture in your head that you’re doing ten rounds then I managed that fight very comfortably,” Dickinson imitated.

As an example Dickinson relayed about preparing for press-ups in that “If you do 20 then you’d tire after 18, if you do 30 then it would be 28, and so on.” Very much showing that the preparation is often best achieved in the head first and sifted out through the body. It is something with which more and more sportspersons are being able to and admitting to doing in order to achieve their goal. It helps to visualise the success.

“It puts the message to your body that you can only do that many,” Jon-Lewis said. “I trained for the ten rounds,” he continued “and I was fit enough for ten rounds so then you just get on with it, your head does the job for you. Obviously I didn’t think I could do ten rounds without training or anything but when you know that you’ve done the training and got it in your head then I think your mind will help you get over anything.”

It is this type of metal ability which Dickinson admits to be employing as he goes into his Cruiserweight bout with Askin as it is what he used to great success in his last two fights with David Dolan and Chris Burton. Although Askin is a different ask, Dickinson is fully aware that he is from sort of mould as Dolan and Burton. “With it being another ten round fight, and having faced tough lads in both Dolan and Burton then I’d be approaching Askin in the same manner. I’m training for ten rounds, for a hard fight, for a war really.”

But it was those injuries against Wright and Turba that have changed him, both mentally and physically and has spurred the Dickinson then into the Dickinson of today. “I think that, personally, when looking back, it was a blessing in disguise as it gave me time off and I think that bit of time that I had matured me and when I came back I’m mentally and physically stronger and everything has worked in my favour since then.”

And against Askin, who knows, Dickinson could really go all the way. No matter how many rounds he has to endure the orthodox boxer will be going all out to claim the vacant English Cruiserweight title, and then on to the British. But he is taking it one step at a time, fully aware that anything can happen at any time. The ‘horrific accident’ against Turba was testament to that.