Joe ‘The Moroccan Machine’ Elfidh – a two-weight Central Area title contender who shared the ring with English, British, Commonwealth and World champions – is now an emerging promoter with regular shows in Kent and the East Midlands with an ever-expanding roster of talented fighters.
The head honcho of JE Promotions very kindly takes time out every week to write a column exclusive to BBN:
My undefeated featherweight charge Jack Budge (2-0), 23 from High Halstow, has been looking red hot in training!
His next fight is on October 6 at Mote Park, Maidstone. It’s just his third pro bout but I plan to put him forward for the Southern Area title, I’ll be doing his application straight after he wins his next fight.
Jack’s been sparring with Barry McGuigan’s prospect Lee McGregor (4-0) who’s fighting for the Commonwealth bantamweight title on October 13.
He constantly needs top level sparring because he doesn’t get tested by a lot of the local fighters to him so have to travel to McGuigan’s and other gyms.
He was a top amateur champion who won everything! Every year from 2007, he either reached the ABA schoolboys semis or finals. In 2008, he lost in the finals of the schoolboys to Jack Bateson; in 2009 and 2010, he reached the schoolboys and CYP semi-finals. In 2011, he won a gold medal in an international tournament in Denmark; plus, he reached the semis of the ABA and CYP, and then again in 2011. His final year in the unpaid code was the pinnacle of his amateur career as he won the ABA’s and Three Nations – he beat a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in the first round and then defeated world champion Oliver Simpson in the final!
He was all set to turn over when he suffered an horrendous injury when working as an apprentice jockey in Lambourn, Berkshire, smashing his cheekbone and nose and ended up on the side-lines for three years altogether.
He initially signed with local promoter Chris Sanigar and won his debut in Bristol in April 2016, aged 21. He has since relocated back home to Kent and trains with Pat Hawley at Moore’s Gym in Rochester Health Club.
Mark Bennett (2-0), 31 from Edlington, has been made mandatory for Kash Ali’s (13-0) Central Area heavyweight title.
I submitted purse bids last week hoping to win the fight for my next show in Worksop on November 10. Fingers crossed that he could be fighting for the Central Area strap in just his third pro bout, exactly one year on from his debut!
Bennett is a throwback fighter, he’s had two fights and is already willing to challenge for an Area title. He smashed through Welshman Dorian Darch (12-7-1) in just two rounds in his last fight which was a huge statement for him to make and jumped him up many places in the rankings, just one spot behind a British title challenger.
The Doncaster puncher took just four-and-a-half minutes to dispatch of the 34-year-old from Aberdare, which was just a few seconds longer than unified world champion Anthony Joshua and the English heavyweight champ Daniel Dubois managed.
‘Bad News’ only begun boxing aged 27 and won titles in the unlicensed and is now in a hurry to do the same in the paid ranks. He only wants tough tests, nothing easy. He said to me right from the start that planned to reach the top-10 in the heavyweight division as soon as possible and is right on track!
My middleweights from Kent, Lenny Fuller (2-0) and Grant Dennis (11-1), both won their fights on September 21 at the Brentwood Centre in Essex on an MTK show.
Fuller, 24 from Maidstone, made a big statement by beating Central Area super-welterweight contender Chris Jenkinson (10-57-3) on points, whose had over 300 rounds experience.
Dennis, 35 from Chatham, secured another points win over Miguel Aguilar (11-48-1), a WBC Youth Inter-Continental contender.
Grant is a former Southern Area champion and English title contender, looking for another major title shot this year. He is fit and ready to fight anyone, we asked for the English title rematch with Elliot Matthews and signed up to fight Vijender Singh for the Commonwealth super-middleweight belt and many others but none of the fights have ever materialised.
I will be talking to Kellie Maloney on Monday in the BBC Kent Radio studio for the Big Sports Phone In. Feel free to call in and ask any questions.