By Frank Warren
OUR FIGHT NIGHT diary is now filling up nicely and we have a stream of dates and announcements to be made poised in the pipeline to be delivered across the coming days and weeks.
Following on from our double-header last Friday and Saturday evening on BT Sport, we have already signposted the news that the middleweight cracker between British champion Denzel Bentley and Commonwealth champion Felix Cash will take place on Saturday April 24.
It is a domestic collision that has captured the imagination of the fight public and, to be quite honest, it is a contest that actually exceeds its title billing. These two are at least European class and I would expect both of them to move on and make a significant impact at world level.
It is a high quality match-up and opinion is naturally divided over the likely outcome. Of course I favour our man Denzel, who will be one of very few who will recall this lockdown period with any particular fondness.
After getting himself back in the swing of things on one of our ‘unlock’ shows last July with a slightly sluggish performance against Mick Hall, he quickly signed on the dotted line for a domestic showdown against the big-punching Mark Heffron.
The first fight was as compelling as it was competitive and the judges couldn’t split them at the end of 10 rounds at York Hall. They both wanted to play it again at the earliest opportunity and, this time, we were able to put the British title on the table for the winner.
Denzel was a more spiteful operator second time around and it was a peach of a shot that made Mark’s left eye balloon to the point of being unable to continue.
Now Cash presents another formidable challenge but these are the sort of fights Denzel has wanted since day one and he is now firmly planted in ‘big fights only’ territory. It will be his fourth fight in roughly nine months, so that is not bad going.
We also know that Denzel and Cash have got a bit of previous from a lively sparring session a few years back. I understand there was some afters outside of the ring so we have got a splash of old spice for the build-up.
On the same show the plan is to return both Anthony Yarde and Callum Johnson to the light heavyweight mix and give them good fights to get them going again.
Anthony, obviously, needs to put a tick in the win column after his narrow loss to Lyndon Arthur in December, while Callum has, through no fault of his own, just been out of action for such a long time after previously building up good momentum.
All three of our light heavies have got world title potential and Lyndon is unfortunate that hand surgery prevented him signing up for a WBO final eliminator. We have got the rematch between Lyndon and Anthony to consider, as well as the possibility of doing some sort of Round Robin to determine the leader of the pack.
Of course, at the same time, world title ambitions will be prioritised and we will always seek out these avenues for our fighters.
We also have pending the now revealed huge night for Sunny Edwards on April 30 when he gets his chance to attempt to de-throne a top-notch world champion in Moruti Mthalane. Our plan for Sunny has never been a secret and that is to take him right to the top at the earliest opportunity and give him massive fights to showcase his undoubted talent.
He might not be everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to social media, but Sunny is a special fighter with a natural gift for the sport that fans can’t help but enjoy watching. He is obviously not a big bang merchant – very few are at his weight – but his skillset is nothing short of incredible and he brings his sparky personality with him into the ring.
The South African Mthalane has taken on all-comers across his glittering career and holds wins over the likes of John Riel Casimero and Zolani Tete. It will take a special performance from Sunny to part him from his IBF world flyweight title, but we believe Sunny is a special fighter and more than up to the job.
With Sunny’s date confirmed, we are looking to put his brother Charlie back into action in order to press on after his ‘rust-shaker’ in September. As far as I – and he – are concerned, he is good to go for another world title as soon as we can pin him down a shot.
Reports from his gym suggest he is really back firing on all cylinders now and I am looking forward to seeing him back under the lights.
Another I am eager to see back doing what he does best is Daniel Dubois. Thankfully he has been given the all-clear to get back to work following the eye injury that curtailed his participation in the Joe Joyce fight and there is so much more to come from Daniel.
Taking a loss will do him no harm in the long run and what it has done is give him such much needed experience. You find out so much more about yourself and your inner strength in adversity than you do when your career is plain sailing.
Injuries are part of sport and Daniel suffered that cruel twist of fate in a big fight against Joe that he was well in and could have gone either way until he took himself, rightly, out of further harm’s way. It was a mature decision for a young fighter to make.
He is back in business now and we will be announcing his next date and opponent very soon.
I WAS DELIGHTED this week to complete our set of fighting Frankhams last week with the announcement that Charles and Levi have joined cousin Josh in our stable.
All three have huge potential and it is our job to help them realise it. They all have the family pedigree and signing Charles reminded me of the time when I used to watch his grandfather Johnny fight back in the day.
I am not quite so old that I promoted him though, I should point out.