Denzel Bentley returned to winning ways in quick, devastating fashion against Kieran Smith.
Bentley was coming off the back of a valiant loss to WBO World Middleweight Champion, Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, in Las Vegas. He returned to London’s Copper Box Arena to defend his British title against Kieran Smith.
Smith entered the ring off the back of two points victories – Gabor Gorbics and James McCarthy – after a 2021 defeat at the hands of Troy Williamson. He had said in the build up that his southpaw style would make it tricky for Bentley.
It didn’t. A left caught Smith on the way in, and it staggered him enough to let Bentley open up his attack. Smith rode a body shot and used the ropes to bounce back, but there was a right hand waiting for him. It was 45 seconds into the round.
Smith was out cold, and Bentley held onto his celebrations for a minute or two as his opponent received oxygen and treatment.
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In the aftermath, Bentley discussed the thought that went into such a quick stoppage.
“45 seconds. I’m happy he’s okay and I thank God that we’re both out of there okay … It was a bit cagey at the start, which I knew it would be, so I thought I’d let him throw first.
I was catching them on the gloves so I kind of knew his range and his speed. As I stepped closer, I knew he was gonna bite.”
The Londoner moves to 18-2-1 with 15 KOs, and is now first in line for Hamzah Sheeraz’s Commonwealth title. He’s more than up for the challenge to get himself back on the path to world title glory.