Dean Dodge could have been forgiven for throwing in the towel on his boxing career before it even began.
‘El Diablo’ was desperate to pursue his dreams after a solid amateur career only to fail a brain scan and be denied a professional license.
That crushing blow spark a downward spiral which left him homeless and struggling to see a way out as he surfed on friends’ sofas.
But he refused to be counted out and fought to save his dream to become Yeovil’s first boxing champion.
On Friday night, that could become reality as he takes on DP Carr for the Southern Area Super Featherweight title.
“I went to go and get my license then I failed my brain scan and couldn’t get a pro license,” Dodge says.
“Then everything just started falling to pieces. I ended up being homeless, I split up with my missus at the time, I lost my job.
“It was just like everything came in one hit. It was awful. In my head, people around me, even close friends were telling me, ‘you need to pack this boxing up and get a proper job because it’s not going to happen’.
“At the time, when someone says there’s something wrong with your brain, initially it’s worrying and with all the stuff going on around me it was a dark time.
“When that was going on I managed to get back on my feet again, get a job and I was adamant there was nothing wrong with the brain scan.
“I met a girl on Tinder whose Dad happened to be a neurologist, and it was just like it was all meant to be.
“We contested the brain scan, she paid for a new one for me, we got it turned over and now here I am now, 10 fights deep, undefeated and fighting for a Southern Area title.”
It has been far from plain sailing for Dodge in the run-up to the biggest fight of his career.
He again found himself homeless just a few weeks out from the bout but has turned to a trusted friend to keep him on his feet until a night he hopes will be a springboard to bigger and better things.
“Even in this training camp before this fight, seven weeks ago I went homeless again with certain circumstances happening in my life,” he adds.
“It’s been tough but you’ve just got to keep cracking on. I’ve sacrificed everything for this.
“A lot of people would’ve packed in when they found out the first brain scan was no good, but not once have I given up and here we are now.
“My goal in the sport is to win a British title. Obviously if I win this fight it puts me in line for the English title as mandatory.
“I just want to keep winning and go along from there. If I can win this Southern Area it will open a lot of doors and hopefully lead to go on to big things.”
Listen to the full episode of All Out Fighting:One To Watch as Dean Dodge discusses his journey.
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