It’s homecoming night for South London’s Denzel “2Sharp” Bentley (15-1-1, 13KOs) as he looks to reclaim the British Middleweight Title against Luton’s Linus Udofia (17-0, 9 KOs) live and free on Channel 5 on Friday May 13 from 10pm.
Bentley suffered his first career loss to Felix Cash in 2021, but immediately bounced back with a win later in the year to set up this bout at the Indigo at the O2 in London. You will rarely find someone with such a vicious knockout ratio carrying such a calm demeanor with them. It may be a relaxed Bentley outside of the ring, but inside it is a man who has either retired his opponent or stopped them in every victory since a points decision win back in April 2019.
“I’m always calm and relaxed. I’m doing something I enjoy so there’s no need to be nervous or uptight or anything like that,” he said. “I know I’ve put in the work, so I’m calm.”
Linus “Lightning” Udofia had previously outlined the strengths of Bentley and the stopping power he possesses. There’s a mutual feeling that both fighters know the British middleweight title will not come easy, but it is the South London boy who is looking to strike twice and hold the belt once again.
“He’s a good fighter so I’m not just going out there and expecting a knockout, but I will be looking for one. “Other than that, I’ll just go and enjoy my boxing until I smell blood; then I’ll take him out.”
By winning the British Middleweight Title again, the momentum would help Bentley towards achieving his end goal - leaving no stone unturned in his quest for all the belts.
By looking to achieve the crowns that domestic, continental and global organizations have to offer, the aim remains to use these experiences and knowledge throughout his journey to reach the pinnacle. Without this huge test for the British title, there can be no true development according to Bentley.
“Some people fight their whole career and never even get a shot at it, as others bypass it, but I think it is good experience. It helps you get the feel for a championship fight for when you want to push on to European and world level. Guys at this level domestically are potential European and World champions but you’re fighting for the British (title), it’s always going to be a good fight,” he said.
“Two guys who are ready to win this one and move on to bigger things, so to speak. For example, (James) DeGale and (George) Groves both fought for the British title and they both went on to become world champions.”
It is true that some of those who have competed for the British title have gone on to the loftiest of heights, with Bentley’s limitless ambitions prepared to match those who have gone before him. The South London man’s aspirations come without naivety, to get to the next level, every fight has to be the most important of his career. Being able to perform in front of his own fans is a blessing, but getting the win is the sweetest prize of all.
“It is good to be fighting in South London as a South London boy,” said Bentley. “This fight is just as important to me as all my other fights and it is definitely a must-win. The winner moves on, whereas the loser has to take a step back and do this again. It’s a win we both need.”