Former Southern Area titlist from Kent, Grant ‘Go-Getter’ Dennis (15-3, 3KOs) has spent his last few weeks in the Canary Islands assisting two-weight world ruler Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14KOs) prepare for the biggest contest of his 12-year pro career against Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (55-1-2, 37KOs) on May 8.
The world champions will clash on the annual Mexican celebration weekend of Cinco de Mayo for super-middleweight supremacy, with four belts on the line – Canelo’s WBC, WBA, and Ring Magazine titles, plus Saunders’ WBO belt.
In preparation for the biggest fight of his entire boxing career, Hatfield’s Saunders recruited Chatham’s Grant Dennis to fly out to Las Palmas to be a part of the team assisting his training.
Dennis said of the offer, “This was a great opportunity, to be trading blows and helping the world champ fighting in his biggest and most important fight against arguably the pound-for-pound king right now, and for that I feel truly honoured to be here.”
The Kent puncher, signed to Boxing Connected, revealed the daily routines that take place in the MTK Fuerteventura gym, “Morning sessions consists of either boxing drills, sharpening sessions, or sparring. In the afternoons it’s either sprint work or, depending on what the morning session was, we could be doing strength work or going on a long run; every single day is different.
During his own professional career Dennis has won Southern Area, British and International Challenge belts at middleweight, but is currently part of a training camp that includes a two-weight world champion preparing for the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now.
Despite the elevation in stages, hardworking Dennis suggests there’s not much difference between the training camp he is presently in, compared to the ones back home in Chatham with trainer Veron Quammie.
He elaborated, “The training is similar in many ways, there are definitely a few new things I’ve seen and will incorporate into my camps in future, but on a whole, it’s all very similar to what I am used to doing.
“It’s all hard work, getting the game plan right and bringing the best you into the ring, knowing when to rest and knowing when to push it.”
He confessed that the encouraging experience has further fuelled the fire for him, “My drive is always the same, I’m driven by my own desire to be the best I can be, but being here has definitely added to my already burning desire.”
He then praised his fellow compatriot, believing that he will shock the world on the 128th day of the year, “I’ve done over 40 rounds with this man in just a couple of weeks and let me tell you Billy is looking the best I’ve ever seen him; he’s focused, sharp and very strong. I believe he has every skill in the book to beat Canelo and frustrate him badly. If he stays focused for 12 rounds, he beats Canelo Alvarez. Skills pay the bills and he’s a great champion and a true gent.”
Saunders’ trainer Mark Tibbs expressed his best wishes for Grant’s help in training, “Grant has done some good work with us over here in Fuerteventura, top man, good man, deserves all the best of the luck in the boxing world he can get, good luck son.”
Grant then revealed what’s next for him in his own career, “I need to get amongst it, I want to push on towards the British title and whoever in the meantime I got to fight or got to deal with, I’ll deal with it. I’m ready for another big fight, wherever and against whoever, I’m ready!”
37-year-old Dennis has managed to compete during the global pandemic, where many fighters have been completely inactive, but it wasn’t the result he was aiming for, falling to No.1 Russian middleweight Andrey Sirotkin (18-1, 6KOs) in the eighth round in Belarus in October 2020.
A former ABA semi-finalist, Dennis turned pro in 2014, then won two Challenge belts followed by the Southern Area middleweight title, all within the same year between November 2015 to November 2016.
Then a controversial points defeat to unbeaten Elliot Matthews (21-0-1, 9KOs) from the away corner at York Hall in 2017 meant that he missed out on English middleweight title, but his biggest platform came on BT Sport when he reached the Ultimate Boxxer finals in 2019 by beating two unbeaten middleweights – Sean Phillips (5-0-1) and Joe Hurn (10-0-1) – and narrowly losing on points to overall winner Derrick Osaze (10-0, 2KOs) in the tournament climax.
Signed to Boxing Connected, his manager Joe Elfidh plans to stage events from May onwards, so news of his next fight will be announced shortly.
Follow Grant Dennis on Twitter @GoGetterDennis
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