After their contested draw in September, Battersea’s Denzel Bentley settled the argument with a stylish four-round dissection of Oldham puncher Mark Heffron to win the vacant British middleweight crown at the BT Sport Studios in Stratford, London, on Friday night.
Heffron was severely hampered by a horrible eye injury that saw him pulled out before the start of the fifth round, but a supremely focused Bentley (14-0-1, 12 KOs) was on it from the opening bell, fighting with verve and intensity.
After a brisk opener, Heffron sustained that swollen left eye after shipping a right hand in the second and the switch-hitting Bentley targeted the injury with sharp, vicious, incisive blows. Heffron (25-2-1, 19 KOs) appeared flustered as the Battersea man picked him off at will with a razor-sharp delivery.
The Oldham banger dug in gamely, unleashing a desperate response in the third, but the eye proved far too severe to continue. After one more round, Heffron’s eye was swollen firmly shut and a new champion was crowned.
“I knew I was hurting him with the right hand,” Bentley told BT Sport’s Steve Bunce afterwards. “I saw the reaction and put him on the back foot. The last fight, he didn’t go back once, but the last fight I wasn’t putting my shots together like that, I thought I could move and win it a bit easier.
“This time, I knew I had to stay there, hold my ground and put in the big shots. I felt stronger, I felt better in the gym. I knew if I held my ground, I knew I would be able to take him out.”
Fighter-turned-reality-star-turned-fighter Tommy Fury (4-0, 3 KOs) knocked out Liverpool-based Lithuanian Genadij Krajevskij (0-12, 0 KOs) with a clinical right uppercut in the second round.
Illustrating a fluid jab, light-heavyweight Fury, the 21-year-old younger brother of WBC heavyweight king Tyson, buzzed the Lithuanian on several occasions with the same jolting uppercut before finding the finish in a four-punch combination.
Belfast middleweight Caoimhin Agyarko (8-0, 5 KOs) cranked up the pressure in the seventh round to overpower ‘Camden Caretaker’ Robbie Champion (6-6, 0 KOs) and force referee Bob Williams’ timely intervention.
Well ahead on the cards, Agyarko wobbled the gritty Chapman with a hefty right in the seventh and pounced immediately, reeling off a succession of crisp left hooks and right hands that sent the dazed Londoner careering into the ropes. Chapman had played his part as the spirited ‘B side’, but wasn’t firing back when the third man jumped in to halt the onslaught.
Smooth-boxing 140-pounder Henry Turner (4-0, 0 KOs) was too slick and accomplished for Devon trier Des Newton (8-17, 2 KOs), winning every round (referee Bob Williams scored 60-54) without ever quite threatening the stoppage. Having just turned 20, that man-strength should come.
Teenaged welterweight prospect Micky Burke (4-0, 1 KO) looked bright, weakening Leeds’ Thomas Broadbent (8-8, 2 KOs) with a prolonged body attack, flooring him twice in the second before referee Bob Williams stepped in.
Main image and all photos: Queensberry Promotions.