Tyler Denny insists that nothing will stop him from getting past River Wilson Bent and claiming the English middleweight title.
The two will lock horns at Coventry’s Skydome Arena on Saturday night (June 25), in front of the Sky Sports cameras, with the winner landing the vacant crown.
It’s a second meeting of the duo, who played out a controversial clash for the same honours last November, at the same venue, which was halted in the seventh round.
The contest was stopped after Coventry’s own Wilson Bent sustained a nasty cut, over his left eye, which meant a technical decision and the officials’ intervention was called for.
Referee Ian John Lewis ruled that the telling blow was the result of a headbutt, not a punch, despite replays proving to the contrary, meaning that the three judges would have to score the bout based on seven rounds.
Kevin Parker had it 67-66 to Denny, while John Latham tallied a 67-67 stalemate. Shaun Messer, the other judge, scored it 68-65 to Wilson Bent.
That draw left the belt still up-for-grabs, with Denny remaining determined to eliminate his opponent’s unbeaten status, as he did with the ‘0’ of Derrick Osaze last year.
The former Midlands champion is hoping to get his hands on the English title at the fourth attempt, after earlier points losses to Linus Udofia and Reece Cartwright.
And what an early birthday present that would be for ‘Ruthless,’ from Rowley Regis in the Black Country, who turns 31 next week (July 2).
The southpaw’s seven-year pro career stands at 13 wins, two losses and three draws, with him more empowered than ever to land a maiden TKO.
He said: “I’ve got to do the business, no ifs or buts. This is the third fight on television that I’ve had, in a row, so my career is heading in the right direction.
“And it should have been my third straight win, so no wonder that the board (British Boxing Board of Control) ordered the rematch. I should already be the English champion.
“It was a bad cut, but it wasn’t a headbutt that caused it. If the referee (Ian John-Lewis) didn’t see a headbutt, you have to assume that it was the result of a punch.
“The judges also got it wrong. One had it a draw, another had me a round up, but how one had him five rounds to two in front I’ll never know.
“If they had let him carry on, it was only going one way, so he’s had a let-off and I think that’s got him a bit rattled. Nothing that’s happened can affect me.
“I don’t take anything to heart, I’m probably one of the most chilled out guys in boxing and he seems more respectful now. He must have thought he was going to walk through me.
“It’s not turned around that badly, my profile has been raised by how close I came and this is a big stage for us to settle this. If I get the win, the last result will be forgotten.
“I feel like I’ve already beaten him, I want to pick up where I left off and I’ll be looking to take him out. I don’t want the judges to decide anything.
“I know he will be better, this time, but so will I and, in my opinion, the best version of me beats the best version of him. It’s up to me to go out and prove that.”