Boxing: Home truths for underdog Dolan

Dolan, 25, won the Commonwealth Games gold medal at super-heavyweight in 2002 but refused to turn professional because he said he needed more experience. Since winning in Manchester, Dolan has failed to reach the medal stages at the European and World Championshipsand missed the Athens Olympics completely.

"It's not easy winning medals in major events but I'm confident that I will in the end and then I will think about turning professional," said Dolan, who has also won the English Amateur Boxing Association heavyweight title three times.

In tonight's strong international Dolan starts as an underdog against Clemente Russo, who lost on points at the Olympics to the eventual winner and earlier this year won three times to become the EU champion. Russo is one of three Italian Olympians in the experienced visiting team.

Dolan will travel to Mianyang, China, for the World Championships in November knowing that only a medal will guarantee him a place in England's team for next year's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne but first he must deal with Russo.

Meanwhile, the heavyweight showdown of Britain's best two active fighters will take place on 3 December in London when Danny Williams meets Matt Skelton. The pair were due to fight in July but Williams withdrew the night before the fight and has been banned from fighting for the British title for six months so there is a chance they will meet for bragging rights only.

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