England Boxing National Amateur Championships 2019 – Mark Dickinson v Ramtin Musah preview
April 11, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
One is an experienced boxer on the GB programme who has a host of international honours; the other, by comparison, is a relative newcomer to the top level of the sport who is riding the crest of a wave.
The Male Under 75kg contest between Birtley’s Mark Dickinson and Beartown’s Ramtin Musah at the England Boxing National Amateur Championships 2019 Finals Day is an intriguing one – and one that promises fireworks come 7.20pm on Saturday evening.
Both men impressed en route to Manchester Central with assured displays in Nottingham where the quarter-finals and semi-finals were held at the Harvey Hadden Sports Village in Nottingham.
As number one seed, Dickinson came through a tough bout against Triumph’s Bradley Goldsmith on a split decision before easing to a unanimous victory over East Durham’s Jimmy Tyers.
Musah, meanwhile, advanced from his quarter-final bout against Sam Davis (Parkstone) via a unanimous win and repeated the trick against last year’s finalist Ben Fail (Far Cotton), in his semi-final.
Both men are eager to claim the title that was last year won by Hoddesdon’s Jordan Reynolds.
“I was very happy with how I boxed in the quarters and semi-finals and I can’t wait for the final now,” said Dickinson, who can list 2017 European Championships and Commonwealth Youth Games gold among his tournament successes.
“It’s one thing being the number one seed and a GB boxer, but you still have to go out there and do it, because if you don’t win the competition then you aren’t the number one.
“I don’t look at it from the point of view that being number one seed brings more pressure because even if I wasn’t top seed, the goal is still the same – to win my weight division.
“I started going to the gym when I was six because both of my uncles boxed and I always wanted to be like them.
“I’ve boxed in Manchester before, but never at this venue, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Dickinson is particularly relishing the ‘big-time’ feel that comes with boxing at England Boxing’s showpiece occasion.
A total of 20 bouts (11 male, nine female) will be staged across the day between 2pm and 9.20pm in a one-ring set-up, with each boxer getting their own ringwalk.
Dickinson added: “The fact there will be the lights, the cameras, the music and a good atmosphere really appeals to me. I know some boxers don’t like it, but I really do.
“I’m really thankful to Graeme Rutherford, who is the lead coach at Birtley and my dad, Mark, has also been a big influence.
“I love coming back to compete for my club because even though I’ve competed internationally, I’m still a Birtley Boy at heart.
“To win the title would mean everything to me. Everything I have been doing in training has been geared towards winning this.”
For his part, Musah has hit form at the right time, winning an England Boxing National Title Belt at the end of February, unanimously outscoring Hoddesdon’s Stan Stannard.
The next step, in his eyes, is to win in Manchester as he bids to fufil his dream of boxing internationally at senior level and, one day, turning pro.
I feel I have come on in leaps and bounds recently,” he said. “I’ve been training hard and working hard and it’s allowed me to get to the National final.
“But now I’ve got there I want to win it. It means so much to me and it’s been my dream to win it, so I’m going to box to the best of my ability.
“I grew up near Macclesfield, but I consider Manchester to be my home city, it’s the closest one to me, so it’s nice that the bout is going to be there.
“There’ll be lots of people coming along to watch because it’s not too far, which is great.”
Musah started boxing at the age of 12, but didn’t actually have his first bout until he was 15. He was, he reflects a ‘lazy kid.’
But his progress once he swapped casual training and sparring for competing was rapid and he soon earned England honours at Youth level.
He added: “I didn’t want to spar and I didn’t want to train for a while, but then I finally pulled myself together and realised that I wanted to do this.
“I had my first bout and 63 bouts later I have never looked back. I have my dad to thank really, because he was the one who motivated me to do it.
“He asked me what I wanted to do with my life. Did I want to take boxing seriously, give it 100 per cent, or did I want to do bits of things here and there.
“Since I started putting 100 per cent in, that’s when I’ve seen the improvements that make it all worthwhile.”
You can buy tickets on the day to watch the action, with doors open from 1pm.