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. 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 contest after stopping Peter Harris back in 1988.

Dodd will also be boxing for the 12th time on November 7 at the Liverpool Echo Arena when he challenges Scott Cardle for the British lightweight title.

According to many experts, Dodd was seen as an underdog 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.

Masher 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.

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

Dodd stuck to his gameplan 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 ten-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 Dodd by a two-round margin — 97-95. Masher said: “I would like to thank all my fans for their support and messages of kindness — it has been like a dream coming true to get this opportunity.”