WE ARE HEADING into a big couple of nights for fighters in Queensberry colours, which will hopefully come to a conclusion with the crowning of a new WBO world middleweight champion.
First up, we are back at York Hall where our prospects will take centre stage, before attention will switch to Las Vegas and our man Denzel Bentley attempting to dethrone the feared world champion Janibek Alimkhanuly and fulfil a dream.
This weekend is actually a launchpad for an incredible run of shows and fights under the Queensberry banner or involving our fighters.
After York Hall and Denzel’s Dream, next Friday we have our annual Debra charity dinner show with four of our young fighters performing on the card – including a debut for our new heavyweight, big Boma Brown – before, the following night, we return to Telford for a cracking European super bantamweight title fight between Liam Davies and Ionut Baluta on a card that will also see the return of Anthony Yarde to the ring ahead of his world title challenge in January.
The Saturday after we have got the bumper show at the 02 Arena headlined by the WBO Interim world super middleweight title fight between Zach Parker and John Ryder and four other big title fights on the card featuring Hamzah Sheeraz, Dennis McCann, Sam Noakes and Pierce O’Leary.
Then, the week after, it is Tyson Fury time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where he defends against Derek Chisora, with Daniel Dubois defending his WBA world title against Kevin Lerena as chief support.
To cap it all, a week later, David Avanesyan goes up against a pound-for-pound great in Terence Crawford over in Omaha, Nebraska.
Back to Denzel. We know and he knows he is going to be up against it against an avoided fighter, but I have every confidence in Denzel to pull off an upset. It will be a fight well worth staying up – or getting up – for.
I’ve always rated our Battersea boy and have the highest regard for him as a bloke. He is a joy to work with, a proper professional who wanted to jump in the deep end right from the off. He comes from a team at the Peacock Gym who want to be in real fights that deliver for the public.
This approach can lead to the odd loss along the way, but it will pay dividends more often than not and a competitive loss in a 50-50 fight should never count against you. I always say, it is about how you lose that matters.
Part of my confidence over Denzel’s chances of causing an upset against the Kazakh comes from talking to his trainer and manager Martin Bowers. Martin knows his stuff and is utterly convinced his man will prevail if he does everything right on the night.
Martin has studied Alimkhanuly right back to his amateur days and knows what his charge is up against. I suspect the key will be to meet fire with fire and refuse to be bullied by a heavy-handed champion.
Fighters like Alimkhanuly, with a big reputation for putting lights out, often have their opponents beaten before the first bell as survival instincts kick in. Denzel needs to show no respect remember that he was not called the Battersea Banger for nothing earlier in his career.