Time has a strange way of enhancing and exaggerating some memories, while others get put to the back of the mind and fade away.

The European middleweight champion, Tyler Denny, hasn’t allowed time to dull his image of Felix Cash. 

Denny makes the first defence of his title against Cash on Saturday, and hasn’t let the former British champion’s inactivity alter his memory of just how dangerous he can be.

“I don’t know where he’s been or where he’s been up to but that’s his problem,” Denny told BoxingScene. ”I’ll be there and I’m confident

“In my mind I’m training for the Felix who beat Denzel Bentley [Cash stopped Bentley in three rounds in 2021] because that was when he looked his best. I have to train for the best version of him. I thought he lost that fight against the Russian guy [Magomed Madiev, who Cash beat over ten rounds in February 2022]. He got dropped twice, was holding on for dear life and got a point took off. If he turns up like that he’ll get absolutely battered, so I’m getting ready for the one who turned up against Bentley.

“This has been rumoured for a while, but then it went a bit quiet, but it’ll be worth the wait.”

Over the past two years Denny has emerged as one of British boxing’s most improved fighters. His run started with an English middleweight title victory over River Wilson-Bent, and culminated with his first career stoppage when he won the European title from Italy’s Matteo Signani in November 2023. 

In between, he turned away unbeaten young challengers like Brad Pauls and Bradley Rae, and he boxed his way past the determined Macaulay McGowan.

During that time Cash has boxed just eight rounds, and appeared to be a shadow of his former  self when scraping past Portugal’s Celso Neves in December 2022.

Since then, the 31 year old has left Tony Sims and teamed up with Adam Booth. Which, coupled with his inactivity, could make it tricky for Denny to figure out exactly what he will encounter. Will Cash storm out of the gates and try to get the job done before Denny’s non-stop workrate can play its part, or will he begin cautiously, try to tame the all-action Denny and feel his way into the fight?

“I’m expecting him to come out fast,” Denny said. “He’s not been active. Against Bentley he came out quickly and got him out of there. That’s what I think. I’ll be ready for anything. If I was him, that’s what I’d try and do.

“I’ve been active and can go the rounds at a good pace, so it could backfire badly if he’s knackered and I’m still in there. It’s gonna be a great fight, though. I’m buzzing for it.”

Denny’s rise has been remarkable. After a couple of early career draws and two unsuccessful bids for the English title, the former plumber has evolved since concentrating on boxing full-time. 

Having started out on small halls and undercards, his title-winning stoppage of Signani headlined a Sky Sports promotion. He next gets to display his abilities on an even bigger scale, and the resorts World Arena is less than half an hour from his home in Rowley Regis.

Don’t expect the occasion or the weight of expectation to tell on Denny. Coming from where he has has given him an appreciation of the spotlight, and he isn’t ready to let somebody else steal it from him now. 

“I’ve done a lot of tickets for my last few fights and although it’s great, it doesn’t really bother me that much,” he said. “When I fought Brad Rea, that was on a Boxxer show in his own back yard when I wasn’t with Boxxer and I went there and beat him. I beat River in Coventry, where he’s from. I’ve done that before so it doesn’t make any odds to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice having the crowd with me, but I’m not that bothered.

“I get a lot more publicity and stuff these days, but you remember the people who were there before. I was talking to my mate about this the other day. I used to be on the tools with him back when I was a plumber and now I’m headlining the Resorts World Arena. It’s mental, really.

“When I quit my job it was a big risk because I had kids. You have to really believe in yourself and I did. I went for it and it paid off. It isn’t finished either. I’ve got a lot more to achieve in this business yet.”