A WIRRAL sportsman is gearing up for the biggest weekend of his life as he fights for a national boxing title.
Sean "Masha" Dodd, from Birkenhead, will be putting on his gloves and stepping into the ring as he competes for the title of Amateur Boxing Association of England Novice Senior in Essex this Sunday.
The 26-year-old took up the sport less than two years ago but has already notched up 11 match wins out of 12.
And he is hoping to seal his already strong reputation with a defeat over Ronnie Nwakaeze of Waltham Forest in the Class A 63.5kg final in Ilford.
Sean, a former roofer, said: "I used to play football on a regular basis but I just fell out of love with it, really.
"After I stopped playing, I didn't know what to do with myself because I wanted to stay active.
"My uncle suggested I take up boxing because he had always thought I would be good at it. I walked into Birkenhead Ventures gym on March 9 2009 and have not looked back once.
"I started training with my coach, Dan, and within three months he said I was ready to fight.
"I managed to get to the regional final of the Merseyside ABA competition but didn't win. That is still my only defeat to date and I intend to keep it that way."
Sean, who trains at least five times a week, is now hoping to secure his win and continue to compete in competitions.
However, his ultimate goal is to take his passion to a professional level.
Sean added: "I would love to go professional and compete internationally so that is what I am working towards eventually.
"My family have been very supportive throughout and I want to say a special thank-you to my sister Stacey for believing in me from the start.
"Hopefully, I can bring the title home to Wirral and carry on doing what I love." THE GLOBE