Felix Cash announced himself as a contender in the middleweight division as he added the British middleweight title to the Commonwealth title he already held with a ruthless third-round stoppage of Denzel Bentley at York Hall in London.
This clash of unbeaten champions had the British boxing world buzzing, not least because it was an all too rare clash between the promotional powerhouses of Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn. The last time the British middleweight title had been decided in such circumstances was in 2013 when Billy Joe Saunders, then with Warren, beat Hearn’s man John Ryder. This time it was Hearn’s fighter, Felix Cash, who prevailed, and the result was never in much doubt.
Cash caught Bentley early and kept him under pressure throughout before forcing the stoppage with a vicious series of right hands in the third round.
“I stunned him in the first round and I knew it was only a matter of time before I caught him again,” Cash said. “The more the fight was going, I was relaxing and I was walking through him. I caught him, I saw he was gone and I finished the job.
“He wasn’t as awkward as I thought he might be. I thought it might take me six or seven rounds to break him down. When I got in there I was hitting him.
“That was a bit of a statement. I said I was a level above him before the fight, I showed it in the ring.”
Cash started the better, catching Bentley with a solid left hook that sent Bentley tumbling backwards into a corner and then jumping on Bentley. But he didn’t waste his punches, Cash times Bentley well with the right and Bentley was starting to look unsteady on his feet.
But as Bentley tried to duck and move he was often wide open to the right hand. In the third round a heavy right landed that left Bentley in a vulnerable position against the ropes. Cash followed up with another right that landed, quickly followed by another three rights as referee Victor Loughlin dived in for a well-timed stoppage at 1:24 of the third round.
“I want the third [belt] now, I want the European, then we’ll move on,” Cash said. “We’ve got a lot of big names out there. You have got Chris Eubank, you have got Liam Williams and a few others.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.