It is the co-main event of the boxing night promoted by OPI Since 82 and Top Rank that will take place in Rome, the 28th of October, at the Pala Atlantico venue, which accounts the international heavyweight contest of Guido Vianello vs Jay McFarlane as the prominent bout of the night: Tony Dixon (13-3-0, 4KO) will fight against Mirko Natalizi (12-0, 7KO) for the WBC Silver International Jr. Middleweight title that Natalizi holds since April 2022.
The roman boxing fans know very well Tony Dixon: last year, he caused an upset when he scored a 1st round stoppage against local Francesco Russo. Now, the Welsh Terrier from Mountain Ash is back again in Rome and he wants to chase another big win against top prospect Mirko Natalizi.
How are you Tony? How is your working-training routine going?
“I’m good. Working hard, in my job and in the gym. The training camp has been rough and intense up to now. I wake up in the morning, go for a run, work throughout the day and I’m in the gym at night. It’s hard but when you’ve got such a massive fight you’ve got to chase the victory”
How do you structure your sparring? Do you move around Wales?
“I move a lot around Wales and the surrounding areas. I’ve been doing a lot of sparring, mostly in the weekends. I need to put round in the bank. I’ve sparred middleweights, welterweights, everybody. Morgan Jones, Craig Woodruff… I’ve been to loads of different gyms, trying to put a lot of experience for this fight”
What do you remember of that famous night in Rome of the 5th of November?
“We knew that Russo was going to come often inside so we prepared a lot of overhand punches. But honestly it was so quickly I couldn’t tell right now. I would’ve like to have more rounds with him but then again I’m glad I won for KO and that after the fight Russo is all good and back to fighting”
In public interviews you always seem very chilled, relaxed, at some point you could almost look over-confident. How is it?
“It’s not that I am arrogant. The fact is that I really put everything I have in every training session and in the whole camp. I have no pressure when I fight away, firstly. I just have to turn up on the fight night and do my job. But then again, when it comes to fight night, I feel freed from everything. I can sit in the changing room before the fight, and I think well Tony, you did everything. You’re fit, you’re in weight, you’ve had your sparrings. You know, I accomplished everything I had to do. You can train as hard as you like but when it’s fight night, you never know if it’s gonna be your night or not. All you can do is to train as hard as possible, and I do that. We do this for our families, for ourselves. It’s tough. Training, working, training. Most people wouldn’t handle it for one week. I’ve got that dedication. I know what I can do”
How do you feel to know that you will be streamed live both in UK, thanks to Mola TV, and in US, directly on ESPN+?
“It’s cool to think that my people will watch me live in Wales and also some boxing fans from the US market will get to know the Welsh Terrier. It’s cool, I can’t wait for the night.”
What do you know of Natalizi, your opponent?
“Natalizi, he’s a tough opponent. I don’t want no journeyman, I want these fights, it’s what I train for. We spoke to the phone, said good luck to each other, he’s a family man like me and I’ve got nothing bad to say about him. We’re gonna fight and that’s it. He’s a nice person, but we’re gonna fight and we’re gonna give what everyone wants to see. People want to see decent fights like this one, when you’ve got two hungry fighters”.
What kind of fight do you expect from Natalizi?
“I expect him to fight hard. He will stand there. I am ready for everything. We can either just box or clash in the middle of the ring, ready for whatever really”.
You’re back in Rome, in the city where you won via an outstanding KO. Do you feel like the atmosphere will be rough for you?
“I won’t mind the atmosphere. I fought in Milan, in Rome. At the end of the day, when you fight away you’ve gotta knock your opponent out otherwise you don’t get the win. Come on, I was robbed against Prodan and I mean it. But then again I’m only focused on the Natalizi fight. It’s a life changing opportunity and I will put everything I have into it!”
The Vianello vs McFarlane boxing night of the 28th of October, plus the whole undercard, will be streamed live on the new Mola app for Italy and UK. Just download the app and you will watch the entire fight night for free. In the United States, the card will be streamed on ESPN+. Tickets are available on www.boxol.it.