Denny After National Honours
Tyler Denny will rate September 30 as his “own personal bank holiday” if he can become a champion on that date for the second year running.
Denny outpointed Tom Stokes for the vacant Midlands middleweight title with a career-best performance at Walsall Town Hall last year, writes Craig Birch.
Now ‘Ruthless’ will get the chance to make his mark at national level with a shot at the English crown at the same venue, which has been relinquished by Elliott Matthews.
The 10-round contest, mandated by the British Boxing Board of Control, will headline Errol Johnson’s Black Country Boxing Promotions show.
Co-challenger Reece Cartwright, from Leeds, has racked up 22 bouts of pro experience at the age of 24, with 21 wins and 12 TKOs to his credit.
The former IBF Youth titleist has a blemish on his record, though, after he was shockingly downed by the unheralded Rafael Chiruta in less than a round last year.
Unbeaten Denny, a product of Old Hill Boxing Club in Cradley Heath, didn’t turn pro until he was 24 and has since won nine out of 11 contests, with back-to-back draws along the way.
The 27-year-old southpaw now moves on to crunch time on a Sunday afternoon bill, which he believes will bring out nothing but his best.
Two six-rounders in 2018 have built him up for the opportunity, with landslide points successes over Raimonds Sniedze and Lewis van Poetsch.
It might be now or never for Denny, who could build a path towards the British honours currently held by stablemate Jason Welborn.
Rowley Regis’ Welborn makes his first defence against Brummie former champion Tommy Langford on September 8, with the winner then ordered to take on Mark Heffron.
Denny said: “Just to be in the mix is good for me and there’s no getting away from it, this is the biggest fight of my career.
“I’m excited, I’ve stayed in the gym since my fight last month (against van Poetsch) and I’ve watched my weight. The hard work starts here.
“Getting the right sparring is going to be very important for this one. Cartwright is 6ft 3in, so I need tall opponents. We’ve made inroads with that.
“I’ll be working with Ricky Summers (British title challenger) and Zach Parker (undefeated 16-0 prospect, who are both with BCB.
“We’ve asked for Benjamin Whittaker (Team GB podium fighter) to come down to the gym so, hopefully, he’ll be available as well.
“It’s great to have the fight close to home, it wouldn’t have bothered me fighting away but it does make a difference to the atmosphere.
“It didn’t really feel like a home fight against Stokes, I wasn’t with BCB and he was and I went in there as a bit of an underdog. I proved people wrong and I hope to do that again.
“That was a good display from me and now I’ve got to take it to another level. I have that in me, the better the opponent the better I’ll perform.
“I’ve had a look at Cartwright and I’ve watched some of his fights on YouTube, including the one he lost. I’m not reading too much into that, he got buzzed and the referee jumped in.
“I know I’m getting to the stage where I could really do something to be proud of in boxing and I’ll give everything I’ve got to keep on progressing.”
The under-card features home favourite James Beech Jr, a second generation fighter as the son of former pro Jimmy Beech.
The undefeated super bantamweight prospect, 21 and from Bloxwich, has recorded three of his six wins as a pro at Walsall Town Hall. He notched his maiden paid TKO there, too.
Another Walsall pugilist, Levi Ferguson, also features looking to build on a successful pro debut at the same venue. He outpointed Paul Cummings in the super welterweight division.
Ryan ‘Stewart’ Davies will be looking to rebound from his first pro defeat, in a title fight situation against the experienced Rob Hunt.
An exciting eight-rounder culminated with Hunt seeing off a bloodied Davies by two rounds on points, 78-76, with the British Challenge welterweight crown on the line.
The former kickboxer, from Tividale in the Black Country remains involved in his former calling, too, and still works as an instructor at Oldbury’s School of Black Belts.
He’s registered for the sweet science ‘Stewart Davies’, using his middle name as his first name as there’s another Ryan Davies in the paid ranks.
Girl power will be on show with flyweight ‘Pocket Rocket’ Dani Hodges, from Burntwood, who became a licenced boxer with a points victory over Teodora Hristova last month.
Former national amateur champion Connah Walker, of Wolverhampton, turns over under the tutelage of boxing legend Ricky Hatton, who will be in his corner come fight night.
Ex-kickboxer Troi ‘the Hawk’ Coleman, who hovered around light heavyweight in his former calling, completes the line-up.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard and £65 VIP ringside, are on sale now from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. It will be £40 for entry on the door.
The Grosvenor Casino Walsall, on Bentley Mill Way, are the show’s headline sponsors. They will host the weigh in and after-show party (over 18s)