With only three days’ notice Birkenhead lightweight Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd beat ex-British champion Gary Buckland on points to earn a crack at the Lonsdale belt this autumn, writes Phil Rostance.

Buckland, 29, from Cardiff, was the former British super-featherweight champion with 30 wins under his belt.

He was scheduled to challenge for the lightweight title against Scott Cardle. However, Cardle sustained an injury and Birkenhead’s Dodd was asked to stand in as a late substitute.

The bout was screened live on Sky Sports.

Dodd is now likely to face Cardle instead.

Dodd will be attempting to emulate Liverpool’s Paul Hodkinson who secured the British title in only his 12th contests after stopping Peter Harris is the final round back in May 1988.

Dodd will also be boxing for the 12th time on November 7 at Liverpool’s Echo Arena when he challenges Scott Cardle for the British lightweight (9 stone 9lbs /135 lbs) title.

According to many boxing experts Dodd was seen as an under-dog and not given a chance of winning. Buckland had been a professional for more than a decade - winning 30 times – and holding the British super featherweight title.

In contrast, Dodd only walked into a boxing gym for the first time six years ago. He eventually turned professional at the age of 27 in March 2012 and went on to accumulate nine wins and one loss.

“Masher” Dodd is trained at the Birkenhead Venture Boxing Club by Sean Trodden and Danny Kelly who have carefully crafted and honed Dodd’s boxing skills since he entered the Brassey Street boxing gym.

Trainer Sean Trodden said prior to the fight that Dodd may be catching Buckland at a good time as the Welshman’s recent boxing displays had shown a decline. With three days’ notice Dodd had to adapt his tactics to face a ‘bulldog style’ type fighter from the tough St Mellons estate in Cardiff.

During the press conference a serious looking Dodd vowed: "Buckland’s getting buckled."

Dad of three boys, Dodd had the name "Leo" emblazoned on his gold and black trunks and was one pound lighter than Buckland but a couple of inches taller.

Masher used his reach advantage to good effect and nullified his aggressive come forward style.

Dodd stuck to his game plan of boxing and switch hitting the tough Welshman - changing from orthodox to southpaw to confuse his opponent.

He kept cool with a tight defence and counter punched the Welshman throughout the 10 round contest.

In rounds four and eight Dodd threw some useful looking left right and uppercut combinations which hurt his foe and the Welshman twice appeared to spit out his gum shield to cause a delay and earn some respite from the heavy assault.

Referee Mark Lyson awarded the decision to Birkenhead’s Sean Dodd by a two round margin - 97-95 - although former WBA lightweight champion and commentator Jim Watt had Dodd winning by four rounds.

Masher, 31, said: “I would like to thank all my fans for all their support and messages of kindness - it has been like a dream coming true to get this opportunity to fight such a great fighter like Buckland live on the telly.

"I have to keep pinching myself with what has happened during the last week. It was an unbelievable night at the Olympia, in Liverpool, and a fight my loyal fans should remember for a very long time!”