Ultimate Boxxer finalists Lenny Fuller and Grant Dennis lead the line-up in Boxing Connected’s next show in Maidstone on February 29.
It’s a date that only comes around every four years as Fuller headlines the Mote Park show that also includes stablemates Martin Hillman; Charlie Shane; Brooklyn Tilley; Jimmy Peckham; Zeki Hussein; and Mick Mills.
Maidstone’s ‘Main Man’ Lenny Fuller (9-1) has already bounced back from his first defeat to Rio 2016 Olympian Steven Donnelly (7-0) in the Ultimate Boxxer super-welterweights final on September 20 with a points win against one of Britain’s best journeymen, MJ Hall (2-46-2) in November on an MTK Global show, which marked the away fighter’s 50th pro bout.
The ‘Gypsy Warrior’ switched stance constantly to match and confuse his southpaw opponent throughout the four-rounds, which he won comfortably at 40-36.
Prior to that contest, which took his record to double figures, the talented 25-year-old from Chart Sutton, Kent, was one of eight 154-pounders to reach the final of the fast-paced, action-packed BT Sport event by scoring the quickest KO of the tournament within 32 seconds in the opening fight, followed by a unanimous points decision over unbeaten Kingsley Egbunike (4-0) in the semi’s, to meet former Olympian Steven Donnelly in the final, who became his sole conqueror in the pro ranks.
Fuller, trained by Lee Page, debuted on May 12, 2018 against Dale Arrowsmith (1-15-1), flooring him en route to a shutout points victory. Despite his limited amateur background at Westry ABC, Fuller was heavily supported in the unlicensed scene where he won many titles and built up a big fanbase, which has allowed him – along with the help of his sponsors – to fight 10 times in 18 months.
Former Southern Area middleweight champion and English title contender Grant Dennis (14-2) was also an Ultimate Boxxer finalist during 2019, like his stablemate Fuller.
The 36-year-old from Chatham went through two unbeaten middleweights on May 10 at the O2 in London before narrowly missing out on winning the final due to a mixed decision defeat to undefeated Derrick Osaze, who was 6-0 at the time.
The Medway man plans on a big year in 2020, “I just want to get back in there on February 29 and then it’s all about chasing major titles and being involved in big fights. Everyone kinda’ knows who the main man around here is. It’s now time to carry on adding more belts to the collection I’ve acquired and that’s not being cocky.
“I’ve shown my area, then showed England, now it’s Britain and then the world! Big year coming up!”
Southern Area title contender Martin Hillman (13-6) will have his 20th professional contest in a venue he has fought at six times already.
The 29-year-old from Orpington is riding on a three-fight winning streak after back-to-back defeats to stablemate Tom McGinley (6-2) in a sensational ding-dong for the British Challenge belt, which was followed by an unfortunate 97-96 points loss to Duane Winters with the vacant Southern Area super-bantamweight title on the line, a title he has now contested three times but never held.
Unbeaten super-middleweight Charlie Shane (8-0), 28 from Chatham, frustratingly only fought once during 2019 due to injuries, so is extra eager to make his mark in 2020, with aims for a Southern Area title shot.
“I feel good about 2020”, ‘The Animal’ enthused. “I wanna’ box a six or eight rounder next then me and my team feel ready to finally step up for a title. I feel like I got the momentum back and I got the best trainers and manager around to help me to achieve my dreams and goals. We’re gonna’ travel about more for sparring in the New Year, I’m confident in myself and I’m ready for whoever they put in front of me.”
Young Brooklyn Tilley (1-0), 19 from Rainham, Kent, will get the chance to double his win tally in his next fight.
Despite his youth, the dedicated youngster amassed a wealth of experience during his teens. Despite just half a dozen amateur bouts, Tilley also experienced a couple of MMA caged contests, but his main activity was Brazilian Jai Jitsu, where he had over 50 fights and was crowned English champion.
“I’m looking to box four to five times this year,” the keen welterweight aspired. “I’ve been learning to box on the back foot a bit more as I wanted to change my style after I watched my debut fight back because I was rushing it a bit.”
Journeyman Mick Mills (1-12-1) has shared the ring with Southern Area champions and British and Commonwealth title contenders, but is now campaigning in the home corner for the first time in his five-year career.
The 33-year-old southpaw from Gillingham returned from a four-year layoff on Boxing Connected’s previous event at Mote Park in September but was subject to a dubious draw with the tricky Victor Edagha (2-63-4), despite pressing the action over the four light-heavyweight rounds.
The super-middleweight said, “I had my comeback fight a few months back and I could feel the cobwebs, I didn’t feel myself, I felt slow, my reactions were off and it didn’t help having an awkward fighter after a four-year gap, but I really enjoyed it, so looking forward to getting back out in February again.
“I know this is my last crack at it now, so I’m aiming for titles.”
Welterweight Jimmy Peckham (1-0) kicked off his pro career last September at Mote Park with a 40-37 points victory over Langold’s Luke Middleton (2-5). Now the 24-year-old Maidstone man aims to keep busy during 2020.
Super-featherweight Zeki Hussein (1-1) bounced back from a bad start to his pro career with a 40-36 points win over Margate’s Ricky Leach (3-41-1) last September back at Mote Park. It was a highly entertaining four-rounds which allowed the Gillingham 130-pounder to really shine even after a five-year layoff.
Now training with Ray Askew and Sam Latham at the Invicta Gym in Sheerness, Zeki is pleased to have put his debut defeat back in 2014 and subsequent hiatus behind him as he aims to set up a Southern Area title shot in his rejuvenated career.
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