It took Denzel ‘2Sharp’ Bentley (16-1-1) just four rounds to overcome challenger Marcus Morrison (25-4) at York Hall on Friday night, in what turned out to be a short but sweet fight.
British Middleweight Champion Denzel Bentley made his first defence of the Lonsdale belt since regaining the title after beating Linus Udofia in May. He faced Marcus Morrison, who had previously gone the distance with Chris Eubank Jr, but was yet to beat anyone of Bentley’s level despite 25 wins to his name.
To his credit, Morrison came with an all-out-attack plan of action, taking the fight to the champion and sticking it on him from the first bell. However, despite being caught with a couple of big shots, Bentley’s class and shot selection prevailed, cutting Morrison on the eye and leaving him with a bloody nose.
Once the fourth round was underway, it was clear that Bentley had wounded Morrison, and from that point onwards the fight was only going to go one way. With a potential eight more rounds to go, trainer Joe Gallagher stepped in and ended the fight for the game Morrison, a wise decision with his fighter showing no signs of quitting but absorbing plenty of damage.
While Gallagher should be praised for saving his fighter for another day, on the undercard Frank Arnold’s team received heaps of criticism for the opposite reasons, allowing Arnold (9-0-1) to get viciously knocked out and stretchered. Nicaragua’s Brayan Mairena (11-30-1) was the dealer of this brutality, pulling off the upset of the night to stop prospect Arnold in round four after knocking him down heavily in the third.
Elsewhere on the card, we saw Ellis Zorro (14-0), winner of the cruiserweight Boxxer Series, outpoint Dec Spelman (18-5) in a thriller. Spelman gave Zorro the tough rounds he was looking for, but couldn’t complain with the scoring, having been decisively knocked down in the fourth.
Both Khalid Ali (3-0) and Joel Kodua (debut), who comes from the same gym as Anthony Yarde, cruised to points decisions, whilst highly-rated Royston Barney-Smith secured his first knockout victory and both Masood Abdullah (5-0) and Adan Mohamed (6-0) added stoppages to their records.