Updated: Nov 13
Tyler Denny will take the fight to Brad Rea in order to retain his English middleweight title. The two will go toe-to-toe for the national crown at the Manchester Arena, live on Sky Sports, as part of next Saturday’s fight night (November 12).
And the defending titlist is determined to show why he has the nickname ‘Ruthless.’ with the unbeaten Rea putting his ‘0’ on the line. Denny claimed the vacant belt at the third attempt, in June, at the culmination of two encounters of River Wilson-Bent, which was also broadcast on Sky.
They first clashed in the previous November, with both contests taking place at the Coventry Skydome. Their first meeting was televised, too, on Channel 5. Denny protested when the original bout was halted in the seventh round, after Wilson-Bent sustained a nasty cut over his left eye, which forced the finish.
Referee Ian John Lewis ruled that the telling blow was the result of a headbutt, not a punch, leading to a technical decision. The points call was a hotly disputed draw. Denny made no mistake in the rematch, outpointing Wilson-Bent on a split decision to reach the promised land, having come up short to Linus Udofia and Reece Cartwright before. It wasn’t the last that he and Wilson-Bent saw of each other, having since become sparring partners. Rounds have also been shared with highly rated Irishman Aaron McKenna. Rea, who is 14-0 (five TKOs) but has never completed the 10-round distance, has home advantage as he hails from Stretford, in nearby Lancashire.
That doesn’t present a daunting task for Denny, who has hit the road to thwart Wilson-Bent and beat the undefeated Derrick Osaze in his last three outings alone.
The 31-year-old southpaw, from Rowley Regis in the West Midlands, takes part in his 20th pro assignment with 14 wins (all on points), two losses and three draws accumulated. He said: “As soon as my training camp started, I didn’t see myself as the champion anymore, I put myself back in the role of the challenger. You have to change your mindset. “I’ll be in his backyard, for my second fight on Sky, on a big show at the Manchester Arena, where I’ve always wanted to box, so I’m well up for it.“I know what to expect, from last time, and this is my fifth straight fight against someone who is undefeated, so I’m used to being the underdog. I take no notice of anything like that. “I’ve proved that I belong at a decent level and there will be even more options for me if I can get past this lad. I take these risks for the good of my career. “I can mix things up, against (Derrick) Osaze I was jabbing and moving and with River (Wilson-Bent), I got on the inside and worked at close range. “This might be a clash of styles. He’s taller than me, so I can’t let myself be on the end of his jab. He will be out to make a statement, so I’ll meet him in the middle of the ring. “I’m expecting fireworks and I’ll go in there with no fear. I never had to take Brad Rea, I could have fought Brad Pauls (next in line to challenge) instead, but I believe that I can beat both of them.
“One day, I’ll look back at the night I won the English title and remember what a great experience it was but, while I’m still boxing, it’s in the past. “It’s been great to get a bit more time with River (Wilson-Bent), through sparring. I bumped into him at a Halloween event and asked him for a few rounds. “He’s a man of his word and came down to the gym. I respect him and, if you count the sparring, we have done 25 rounds together, so we know each other pretty well!”