In true Rocky Balboa-style Tyler Denny doesn’t mind going into the ring on Saturday at boxing’s iconic York Hall as the underdog.
The 28-year-old middleweight knows his fight for the vacant English Middleweight Title won’t be easy. Although Denny has 12 wins – four by TKO – his opponent Linus Udofia is being schooled by David Haye and has a record of 14 wins – seven by KO.
But Denny is ready and determined to take a belt he feels he should have taken a year ago.
“I was in this same place a year ago fighting for this title and with dreams of progressing but the fight was stopped through cuts and, while I respect the referee’s decision, I was absolutely gutted,” Denny explained.
Denny, from Blackheath, added: “I know he is probably the favourite and I don’t mind being the underdog. I’m hoping with the pressure being on him I might actually be able to use that to my advantage.
“I’m also the away fighter with the match being in Bethnal Green and that also suits me as there will be less pressure though I am grateful for those supporters who are following me down.”
Amongst those supporters who won’t be at the fight are Denny’s children – his two girls and a boy – the eldest of whom is only eight and still too young to really appreciate what daddy does in the ring.
He explained: “I still work as a plumber for Dudley Council but have taken time out for this fight as most people at this level are pro.
“I don’t want the kids to see me in the ring just yet as boxing is a dangerous sport and you never know if you are going to get hurt. I‘m looking forward to coming home however with that belt to show them!”
Denny said he was grateful to his manager Errol Johnson at BCB and his trainers Shaun Cooper, Lindon Scarlett and Ruben “Razza” Campbell for getting him ready for his big contest and S and R Construction who have sponsored him for the last month enabling him to take time off work to focus on training.
“I.ve had a great camp and Errol even sent me out to Lichtenstein to get some great sparring with a German opponent.
“I’ve also been doing a bit with Lennox Clarke who is a good friend of mine.
“As a kid I was football-mad and was a little late to come into boxing. I’m a Newcastle United fan and my idol was always Alan Shearer. I didn’t really watch too much boxing growing up but I haven’t looked back since I got into it at the age of 16.
“Hopefully my form will be better than that of the Magpies and I can return home an English champion at the weekend and get back to winning that British title I’ve been dreaming of.”