Burntwood’s ‘pocket rocket’ Ready to showcase her talent

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Dani Hodges believes she’ll showcase the extra time spent honing her craft when she steps back through the ropes next weekend.

The ‘pocket rocket,’ from Burntwood, is back in action aiming for a hat-trick of pro victories at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday February 16.

She features on BCB Promotions’ first West Midlands offering of 2019, which will take place two days after Valentine’s Day. The show is called ‘No Love Lost.’

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The path to pro boxing for the 32-year-old started at Platinum Boxing Club in her hometown, where she still teaches the sweet science.

Hodges turned over by seeing off Teodora Hristova over-the-distance in the Stadium Suite at Walsall Football Club last year, dropping just one point in the process.

She then extended her paid record with an over-the-distance landslide, dominating against Sonia Klos on the road to having her hand raised.

A third bout was supposed to take place in December, but a postponement left Hodges kicking her heels. Nonetheless, the female prospect is taking that as a positive.

She’s spent two camps with Ijaz Ahmed, the reigning Midlands boss at her weight. Hodges reckons the hard yards put, in behind the scenes, are making all of the difference.

She said: “It’s difficult to find proper someone of the proper size for sparring for when you’re a flyweight, but I did a fair bit of sparring with Ijaz when he was fighting for the Midlands title.

“He became the champion, so we must have been doing something right! We’ve done the same for this one, too, so I’m hoping we’ll see the results.

“I’ve been out of the ring for longer than I’d hoped, but all that is going to change on February 16. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the division.

The fight I had in December was cancelled, but I’ve kept myself ticking over so I’m feeling strong and sharp. I really want to establish my power in this next one.

“I’ve boxed at the Town Hall before, so I know what it’s all about and what a fantastic venue to perform at. It’s bound to give you a buzz.

“A lot of this camp has been about learning, we’ve had the time to work on a few things in the gym, so I’ll feel good for it when I get in there.

“I’ve always had the fitness and speed, so we’ve been working on strength and I’m punching a lot harder. I’m cutting off more space and setting up shots quicker.

“It’s time for me to prove that I’m a force to be reckoned with. I’ve got power and I plan to show that on fight night.”

The six-round welterweight main event at the Town Hall will see Damian Kiwior, from Poland but based in Wolverhampton, tackle undefeated Cornwallian Wes Smith.

The rest of the undercard is stacked, with the other eight support acts occupying the home corner a mix of prospects and contenders.

The experienced Andrew Robinson, from Redditch, will feature. ‘D’Animal, 34, is a former Midlands and IBO Continental middleweight champion.

Danny Ball, from Kingswinford, laces on the gloves again and is from pugilist stock, with brother Jamie a one-time holder of the Midlands belt in the same division of super welter.

Leon Gower, of Burton, returns after an unsuccessful attempt at the Midlands super bantamweight title, going down to Brad Foster in a thriller last year.

Prodigy Liam Davies, 22 and from Telford in Shropshire, boxes for the second time as a pro, looking to build another reputation after representing his country in the amateurs.

Hometown favourite Levi Ferguson, who is born and bred in Walsall, will attempt to add to his two points successes in the super welterweight division.

Super welter Ross Hollis, from Swadlincote in Derbyshire, equally aims for a trio of wins since first punching for pay.

Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP ringside with a buffet and waitress service, are on sale from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. It will be £40 for entry on the door.

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