- James Deen
The Sting Returns to the Ring.
The Sting Returns to the Ring.
Interview with Dexter Hastings
Written by James Deen - Feb 2018
Midlands boxing fans are in for a treat on the evening of Friday 30th March 2018…
The Birmingham Boxing Column has announced that with the help of Bodsquad they will be putting up prestigious vacant BBColumn Heavyweight Challenge belt at the H-Suite, Edgbaston, Birmingham. The challenge belt is a title that the column only put up in big unlicensed fights, as this fight is for the SPBF British title one of the biggest titles in the unlicensed game the column has decided the green challenge belt had to be on the line. The ‘BBColoumn challenge belt’ is a title that the column put up when they deem a match-up in respective weight-classes to be worthy of this accolade.
The SPBF Heavyweight Title fight will be between:
Dexter ‘The Sting’ Hastings vs Neil Rigby
I got the chance to sit down with The Sting before his return to fire a few questions at him about his upcoming fight with Rigby.
Dexter (47) opens with "The stakes have been raised in this already big Semi-professional title fight!” “And now with the BBColumn challenge belt up, I can't afford to make any slip ups".
The Sting returns to the ring Friday, March 30th at the H-Suite after Dexter had his exceptional win over Damion Gardener last year for the SPBF Midlands area Heavyweight title. Challenging for the British Semi-Professional Boxing Federation title, he will be taking on the former Midlands area Heavyweight champ and the current English Heavyweight Champion Neil Rigby, this already massive fight has been made even bigger with the addition of the vacant Bbcolumn Heavyweight Challenge belt.
The fight will be the main event at the Ring Wars 3 show promoted by Fightden and Blood Sweat & Tears. The fight will be over 6 x 2-minute rounds which Dexter will be accustomed to form his Celtic Boxing Union days.
Dexter recalled, "I fought several times over 6 x 2-minute rounds in title fights for the CBU in the past.” “A lot of people especially my trainers thought I was better over the long distance and I must admit I like the 6 rounders’ more as you can take your time and it's more strategic". Dexter continued, "Some of my best fights have been over 6 rounds.” “My first title fight was over 6 for the CBU Cruiserweight Birmingham & West Midlands title against one of the best fighters I have ever faced Malcolm ‘The Show’ Stowe.” “I distinctly remember Stowe came out firing and as the rounds went by faded and I took control of the match winning on points.” “I have lost 2 title fights over 6 but they were both at light Heavyweight against great boxers, but both were close, and both went the distance."
I asked Dexter how he thought his fight against Rigby over 6 rounds would go?
Dexter who is the current SPBF Midlands Champ and five times two weight champion replied, "Rigby was on the undercard of my title fight against Gardener, he fought a very tough opponent in Shaun Duffy who had stopped me the year before and he managed to get a draw". Dexter smiled as he replied, "It sounds very impressive on paper and Duffy is a very good name to have a drawn against, but I have seen the fight back on film and that fight was never a draw.” Dexter carries on saying, “In my opinion, Duffy won the fight with ease, Rigby started well but seemed to rapidly run out of steam and it was only a three rounder!”
He added, “I have chatted to Neil a few times and he seems like a decent bloke, but from what I have been told and seen Rigby will be a tough opponent who hits hard and don't mind getting a little dirty to win.”
Looking relaxed Dexter continued, “I am looking forward to the challenge and I'm very confident that my boxing skills with my experience will see me to victory.”
I then brought up ring wear and how he likes to promote his Irish heritage. The veteran with a record of 19 fights with 12 wins 1 draw and 6 defeats laughed as he said, "I can see the irony in wearing the Tri-Colours in a British title fight, but I was born in England and raised by my mom who is Irish and has embraced my Irish heritage."
Dexter continued with pride, "I like to say I'm English by birth and Irish by the grace of God.”
My final question to the Midlands Area Champ was, “At 47 years old, is this going to be your final fight?” Dexter grinned as he told me, "One of my trainers Dean Martin said the last time I retired, you have had 19 fights and retired 20 times!!!" Dexter followed with, "When I win this British title and the challenge belt I can't really go any higher, so I would have to say yes!” “I can't see myself having another big fight after this one and I think it's about time I let the young lads have a bit of the limelight by stepping aside.” “It will be hard to stop completely, but I might have the odd one on the road just to keep myself in the game, but no more ticket selling.” “The way I feel at this moment I could easily fight at this level until I am 50, but now I have the Birmingham Boxing Column to keep me occupied I think this will be the last big match-up.”
Thoughts from the Deen
After sitting with Dexter, I personally think The Sting will be back after what could potentially be the biggest fight of his illustrious career, with an undercard to keep us entertained throughout the evening up to the main event.
James Deen - BBColumn.com
Tickets at bbcoloumn.com
Facebook – Dexter Hastings
Bodsquad - https://www.facebook.com/groups/284355525423041/about/