THE frustration Tyler Denny feels at not fighting for the British middleweight title may turn into satisfaction at challenging for a bigger prize.
Having won the English title and defended it successfully on two occasions the 32-year-old believes he has done enough to earn an opportunity at the coveted Lonsdale Belt. By the same token he is convinced that any hope of challenging for it has passed him by.
This year could end on a hugely positive note for Denny, 17-2-3, if things go according to plan for the West Midlander.
“Hopefully we can get a European shot against [Matteo] Signani,” Denny told Boxing News.
“That’s the plan going forward but until something’s announced you never know in boxing. But I think that’s the plan we’re going to try and go for.
“We’ve asked to try and get on the [Joshua] Buatsi-[Dan] Azeez card on October 21. If not, November now. It’s a bit frustrating because I think it was meant to be September and then it’s just getting put back. Hopefully it’ll all get signed and sealed and over the line. I just want it to be this week even if it was November. It’s nice to know when you’re fighting, you’ve got something to aim for.”
Signani, a three-time European middleweight champion, completed the hat-trick by stopping Anderson Prestot in seven rounds last November. Signani, often linked to a fight against Felix Cash, was scheduled to defend his belt on April 1 against the Matchroom fighter as part of the Anthony Joshua-Jermaine Franklin undercard. The fight was pulled, however, when it was reported Cash withdrew because of illness.
Should Denny be rewarded for his good run of form with a shot against Signani then his unexpected rise would be similar to that of Dan Azeez. Both have plied their trade on the small hall circuit, and both have made the most of their opportunities fighting on televised shows promoted by Ben Shalom. Azeez, who also held an English title, blasted out Hosea Burton to become British champion before going on to win the Commonwealth and European straps. And on October 21 faces friend-turned-foe Joshua Buatsi in a light-heavyweight world title eliminator.
With wins over Bradley Rea, Brad Pauls, and Macaulay McGowan the career of Tyler Denny has taken off thanks to the exposure of fighting on Sky Sports. Not receiving a shot at the British middleweight title, currently held by Queensberry’s Denzel Bentley, has been a source of frustration for Denny who explained to BN why he is moving away from the British title scene.
“I think I’ve been left with no choice really. River Wilson-Bent was 12-0-1, I beat him. I beat Bradley Rea who was 14-0. I beat Brad Pauls who was 16-0. That was an eliminator and then they put me in another final eliminator against Kieron Conway. It was a case of we’re fed up now.
“Look at Kieran Smith and Marcus Morrison. Morrison lost to Eubank Jr, beat [Lewis] van Poetsch, lost to Zach Parker, then beat Seamus Devlin and gets a British title shot. I don’t think Kieran Smith had done anything at middleweight to get the British title shot. And when you’re beating the guys I have and guys similar to them are getting the opportunity you can’t help but think what more can I do.”
Denny says he has heard nothing from the British Boxing Board of Control to explain why he still has not been chosen to face Denzel Bentley. Denny only discovers what’s going on with the Lonsdale belt when the Board release their monthly circular which contains news on the latest British title defences and eliminators.
“I don’t know what they can say to explain it,” Denny said.
“They can’t tell me to fight this guy and that guy because I’ve been doing that. I’ve kinda given up on it now and I think I’ve lost my chance by not doing the final eliminator with [Kieron] Conway (on October 7). Writer’s note: Conway is fighting Linus Udofia instead.
“Hopefully the Signani fight happens and move on that way, and everything’s been worthwhile and worth the frustration. I would have liked to have fought for the British but my whole life doesn’t revolve around it. I just wanted to step up. If I can step up to the European, then even better.”