THE only logic that James “Jazza” Dickens listens to is his own. The 24-year-old from Liverpool is scheduled to march into battle with Guillermo Rigondeaux, one of recent history’s most gifted fighters, on July 16. On paper, Dickens has no chance. But Dickens knows the truth, he’s always known.
“I remember when I was in the gym when I was 12 years old, and I looked around and I thought, ‘I want to be world champion’,” the engaging Dickens tells Boxing News about the Frank Warren-promoted contest. “It was my first thought in the gym, and I still feel like that, I’ve stuck to that. I do believe that, and I’m quietly confident of that. There’s no point me telling you that I’m going to do this, this and this. You probably won’t believe me. It’s like the preachers on the street – no one listens to them. I can say whatever I want, and you might not believe me. Do you know what? If you don’t believe me, I don’t care. I know what I believe.”
Defensive southpaw Rigondeaux is one of the best amateurs of all time. As a professional, he has struggled to replicate the success, largely due to few wanting to fight him, but in his 16 bouts he has looked almost untouchable. There can be no doubt Guillermo, as spiteful as he is elusive, is taking on Dickens to stay busy, he will see no danger. Whatever the result, it’s a tremendous opportunity for “Jazza”. But any suggestion the devout Christian has ‘nothing to lose’ is not welcome.