Dolan gets ready to belt up

HARTLEPOOL boxing's wait for a new champion is almost over.

That was the verdict today from Neil Fannan as the trainer weighs up how quickly he wants to move David Dolan into a British title shot.

Dolan last night clinched his second win as a cruiserweight when he outpointed tough French opponent Rachid El Hadak at Burton on Trent.

The 28-year-old then watched veteran Midlands fighter Rob Norton clinch the vacant British cruiserweight title by outpointing Micky Steeds from the Isle of Dogs in the top of the bill bout at the Meadowside Leisure Centre.

"I do believe Dave is ready," said Fannan.

"On paper, I'd say El Hadak was a better fighter than the two lads challenging for the British title and that's meant as no disrespect to Rob and Micky.

"The French lad boxed in good company and not that long ago lost on a split decision for the European title.

"El Hadak was a good test and a good scalp.

"I was more than a little apprehensive about the fight – I'm not a bottler but I know how dangerous Rachid looked and I didn't want anything upsetting the applecart and getting in the way of a British title fight.

"But Dave made pretty easy work of it."

SEE Saturday's Mail for more reports and pictures