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Undefeated Aberdeen boxing star Dean Sutherland targets British title shot

Undefeated Aberdeen boxing star Dean Sutherland.
Undefeated Aberdeen boxing star Dean Sutherland.

Undefeated welterweight Dean Sutherland aims to close in on a British welterweight title shot this year.

Sutherland is determined to shake up the welterweight division in 2022 by rapidly rising up both the British and WBC rankings.

The 23-year-old is set to defend his WBC International Silver title against Corey McCulloch at the Beach Ballroom on Friday.

Sutherland, aka ‘Deadly’, secured the title in November last year with a superb eighth-round stoppage of Italian Michele Esposito in the Granite City.

Now southpaw Sutherland, who boasts a flawless pro record of 12 wins from 12 bouts, will put his belt on the line in another home city fight.

Sutherland confirmed Friday’s title defence will be the first of three fights in the Granite City this year.

He will also fight in Aberdeen on June 25 and in November in bouts that he hopes will propel him into recognition for a British title clash.

Aberdeen’s Dean Sutherland holds the WBC International Silver welterweight belt up to his fans.

Sutherland said: “I want to keep pushing up the WBC rankings as well as the British.

“I want to push myself into contention for a British title fight before the end of the year.

“This year I’m hoping to really force the issue with some good international fights.

“And hopefully get a big domestic fight as well.”

Targeting huge domestic fights

Undefeated Ekow Essuman (16-0) is the current British welterweight title holder.

Essuman, 32, is also the Commonwealth and IBF European welterweight champion.

He will defend his British title only against Darren Tetley (21-2) on April 23.

Sutherland had hoped to set up two domestic fights in the first half of this year to push his way up into British title contention.

He said: “We had hoped to get a big domestic fight for this one.

“However, not everyone has the same mentality as me in looking to go in with the best to prove who is the best.

“We put an offer to an English boxer who is 16 (wins) and one (loss), but they said he wasn’t ready for the fight. If he isn’t ready at 16 and one, I don’t think he is ever going to be ready.

“Another priced himself out of it.

“The plan would have been getting one for this fight and then facing the other in June.

“It’s frustrating as you would think, with so much talent in Britain, it would be easy to get fights set up. I’m finding, the more and more success I get, the harder it is to get opponents.

“It’s very frustrating, but I just have to keep putting in winning performances.”

Undefeated Aberdeen welterweight Dean Sutherland will fight at the Beach Ballroom.

Tough opponent for title defence

Sutherland’s top-of-the-bill title fight on Friday will be broadcast live on Fightzone.

It is the third successive title fight for Sutherland.

Aberdonian Sutherland won the WBO Youth welterweight title with a seventh round stoppage of Jose Antonio Delgado Velazquez in July last year.

Sutherland aims to deliver another stoppage win in Friday’s title defence.

He said: “It will be a stiff test, but that is exactly what I’m looking for. I want to be a true competitor.

“I don’t want pushovers or easy padded records. I’ve had a long, brutal training camp since the start of New Year and I’m not looking to be coasting and boxing for 10 rounds.

“I’m looking to put on a show and have an early night. Every time I step into the ring, I have a huge crowd that has spent a lot of money to come and watch me.

“I want a proper fight and the butterflies in the stomach to get me up for it. That is when I’m really going to perform.

“I have itchy knuckles and am really excited to get into the ring.”

Aberdeen’s Dean Sutherland (in red ) lands a right hook to Michele Esposito.

Quick return to the Beach Ballroom

Sutherland will return to the Beach Ballroom just four months after winning the WBC International Silver title at the venue.

He secured the WBC belt with a stoppage of Italian Esposito one minute 57 seconds into round eight. It was the first time Esposito had been stopped in a nine-year career.

Sutherland believes he underlined his mental and physical strength in that bout.

Dean Sutherland wins the WBC Silver International title. With referee Victor Laughlin and Michele Esposito.

He said: “That was the toughest fight mentally and physically I have been involved in.

“I didn’t perform to my absolute best that night, but it probably made it a little more entertaining for the crowd. I nearly had him out in the third round, but I’m glad I didn’t get the stoppage then.

“Instead of blowing him out in the third and it being done and dusted, I was able to learn more about myself. I was also able to show that I was physically and mentally tough.

“It seemed to be like he would just survive a round then come out like an absolute hurricane at the start of the next.

“That was a good thing for me being mentally tough. If I wasn’t I could have began to think: ‘am I ever going to get this guy out?’

Aberdeen’s Dean Sutherland (in red) lands a punch against Michele Esposito in the WBC International Silver title fight.

“I knew if I kept chipping away he would go. I also knew that I was getting to close to Esposito to land my big power shots.

“If you watch the sixth round, I take a little half step back so that he lands on the ends of the punches.

“As soon as I started doing that, I really opened him up to get a good stoppage of a very tough, strong man with a lot of heart.”

Benefits of being a full-time boxer

Sutherland recently moved into full-time boxing and is already reaping the rewards.

He no longer had to balance a nine-to-five job with early morning runs, evening gym sessions, sparring and training camps.

Sutherland said: “Going full-time has made a massive difference from both a mental and physical point of view. I’m much more rested and prepared for my training sessions.

“Now I’m able to really give my all in training sessions knowing that I will get a rest period after it before another session.

“I have been able to put in much more technical sessions as well, so I’m feeling really, really sharp.

“With the full-time job as well I felt like I was constantly chasing my own tail, rushing about from one place to the next.

“I never really got to settle and focus on anything. Being able to do that has been a massive difference.”

Aberdeen’s Dean Sutherland will defend his WBC International Silver welterweight title .

Three fights in Aberdeen during 2022

Friday’s title clash will be the first of three home city fights in Aberdeen for Dean in 2022.

He will box in the Granite City again on June 25 with another bout scheduled for November.

Dean Sutherland on the attack on the way to winning the WBC International Silver title in Aberdeen.

Dean said: “I will have another two fights in Aberdeen. There will be another fight in between, but that will probably be down in Glasgow or maybe Sheffield.

“With the next fight in June, that is a quick turnaround of only 10 weeks.

“So I will be straight into training on Monday after Friday’s fight to keep myself going.”

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