Dudley, March 4th
At The Venue in Dudley, Dale Flute ended Josh Hodgins’ stern middleweight challenge with a stunning 3rd round TKO victory.
If you weren’t there to witness how Dale Flute put an end to Josh Hodgins’ robust challenge on Friday night at The Venue in Dudley, you missed something quite special.
The 3rd round TKO victory moved Flute to 1-0-0 and got his pro debut off to [what some might say was] a dream start. (I mean, who wouldn’t want to end their first fight with a clinical finish?)
Not that any one of us, aside from perhaps his corner led by Trainer Richie Ghent, and the fight fans in the hall that have known Flute throughout his fighting career, saw it coming.
In front of a packed hall, The Tipton based fighter bobbed and weaved, and hit and moved his way to a stunning victory, spending most of the contest on the back-foot as Hodgins maintained a determined yet ultimately vain onslaught.
‘So why was it so special?’ you might ask.
Well two reasons. Firstly, like I said earlier, Flute spent much of the bout having to fight off the backfoot.
That in itself might not seem such a big thing until you consider that it couldn’t have been what he’d expected of the fight.
Just days before, speaking out of the BCB Promotions camp he’d talked about being a pressure fighter who likes to ‘get stuck in.’
The bout panned out differently and for the most part it was Hodgins doing the pressing.
The problem for the Birmingham boxer was that nothing was really landing. Flute was just too quick, smart and elusive. His defence was solid and his counters were sharp.
I did say most of us didn’t see the TKO coming, but thinking back — that Hodgins was counted after touching down in the 2nd round, was clearly a sign of things to come.
The manner in which Flute got the stoppage, for me, showed that yes – after a (pretty much) six year absence from the squared circle – he’s back, yes – he can certainly hit, but also, and perhaps more importantly, he knows how to adapt.
It was when his back was against the ropes evading yet another spiteful Hodgins barrage, that Flute, with great footwork and technique, slipped around his opponent and found the counter that mattered most.
Within moments it was Hodgins, dazed and with gloves dropped, whose back was now to the ropes.
Flute pounced, and unleashed the telling shots that left referee Chris Dean no alternative but to call a halt to the contest.
It was good to see Hodgins back up on his feet after receiving treatment in the ring. The finish was shades of Price v Povetkin in that Hodgins was stunned and wide open momentarily to further punishment.
A combination of his powers of recovery which helped him to somehow muster a defence from nowhere as Flute waded in, and the referee stepping in just quickly enough to save the Birmingham man from any unnecessary punishment, prevented him from being driven to the canvas under a flurry of punches.
And the second reason?
Well, I’m probably biased – I admit. But when I found out that Dale Flute is the second cousin of former professional boxer turned author Andy Flute; my interest was immediately peaked.
Andy Flute was a phenomenal boxer and for me a Midlands legend. The Coseley man was a contender for the British middleweight crown in the early 1990s, and a sparring partner for Chris Eubank.
Coincidentally, he fought his last fight in Dudley in 2004. And now we find that where one Flute’s pro boxing career came to an end, another’s has just begun.
If Dale Flute is able to carve out a professional boxing career anything like his second cousin’s, Midlands boxing and the fight fans around the world, can look forward to seeing some very special fight nights.