THIS month’s British Boxing Board of Control circular revealed that an agreement had been reached for Denzel Bentley to fight Hamzah Sheeraz.
Both middleweights, promoted by Frank Warren, have been linked to one another in recent months but Bentley 18-2-1 (15) is eyeing another fight at world level.
The British middleweight champion challenged WBO belt holder Zhanibek Almikhanuly in November last year but lost on points. However, the credible display shown by Bentley enhanced his reputation and instilled a belief that he belongs at the higher echelons of the division.
Last month Sheeraz 17-0 (13), who will next fight on the Oleksandr Usyk-Daniel Dubois undercard on August 26 in Poland, told Boxing Scene he wants to face Bentley in December.
“We’ve both said we want the fight now so it’s about what our managers do and what Frank Warren says.
“We are probably the biggest names in Britain at middleweight so it would be the chance to find out who is really number one.”
Bentley answered the call-out telling Boxing News, “I’m chasing everyone that’s in front of me, Hamzah’s behind me in a sense so I’m not going to run back and start chasing Hamzah because he called me out.”
Earlier this week the BBBofC circular wrote: “Following agreement being reached between the parties, the above contest to be promoted by Frank Warren will take place on a date and at a venue to be advised.”
Boxing News contacted Bentley yesterday (Friday) for his response.
“The fight isn’t officially on yet but it’s still a possibility.”
Bentley won the British title for a second time in May 2022 when he beat Linus Udofia in a domestic fight of the year contender.
Either side of his defeat to Alimkhanuly there have been two successful Lonsdale belt defences made by Bentley against Marcus Morrison and Kieran Smith, respectively.
Sheeraz has long been touted by Frank Warren as a future world champion and a fight against Bentley could easily be described as a 50-50. Victory for Bentley would cement his status as the best in Britain and allow him to move on to the world scene, but a third career defeat could potentially mean another rebuild.
BN spoke to their promoter Frank Warren today (Saturday) and asked if Bentley v Sheeraz will take place.
“I think the fight will happen,” he said.
“From my perspective we’ve done it before. Two fights we did, recent ones, was Dubois and Joyce and Yarde against Arthur. The best man will win and it’s not the end of the world for the loser. It is what it is and the best man will come through.”