'Kid Dynamite' and '2Sharp' battle for British belt
The BBBofC today (October 22) announced that Liam Williams (23-2-1, 18KOs) had relinquished his British middleweight title and approved a request from promoter Frank Warren to allow rivals Mark Heffron (25-1-1, 19KOs) and Denzel Bentley (13-0-1, 11KOs) to contest the available belt in their November 13 fight, live on BT Sport.
Not only that, but further notice was served that the winner will defend the honours to unbeaten Commonwealth champion Felix Cash (13-0, 9KOs) in their next fight.
Currently ranked at WBC #3 and WBO #2, Welshman Williams, a two-weight British titlist, is eyeing a world title shot in his next fight, having been calling out WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade for some time now.
His relinquishment of the Lord Lonsdale belt now means that the tasty return fight between Heffron and Bentley will now be upgraded from British title eliminator.
UK fans had demanded the domestic duel be rerun ever since their epic September scrap ended with a rare unanimous draw. That wish had already been granted, but now the stakes have been upped for each fighter, to their delight.
Whilst the first fight was arguably the highlight of all post-lockdown boxing, fans were left crying out for more as the ringside judges couldn’t separate the fighters - all three scoring the bout 95-95.
In the world of social media, neither experts nor fans could unite behind a singler fighter as the rightful winner and, equally, the fighters themselves were both convinced they’d done enough to claim victory.
With no consensus victor from punters, pundits and fighters alike, Frank Warren has taken the only course of action that made sense and booked the rematch.
“The British fans wanted it, so we’ve delivered it” said Warren, adding “it was the easiest decision in the world to put these two back in the ring together.”
“The response to the first fight was overwhelmingly positive. Fans up and down the country were hailing the fight as the best domestic Middleweight scrap in years. With no clear winner, the only thing to do was book an immediate rematch and let these two finally settle the debate once and for all.
“I had the first fight a draw, honestly. I thought Mark was all action and came forward well, but Denzel boxed tremendously, showed great movement and picked his shots intelligently. Denzel scored a big knockdown early, but got hurt himself in the later rounds.
“The winner of this will go on and achieve great things. This rematch is such a great fight for British boxing fans, and I couldn’t begin to pick a winner. I reckon the bookies are going to struggle to separate them too - it’s the definition of a 50-50 fight.”
On fighting for the British title, Mark Heffron said: “My daughter Poppy wants that title belt for Christmas and I never let her down.”
Denzel Bentley was equally confident, saying: “Being British and fighting for the British title is an honour. I want to conquer home first, then I'll go on to conquer the world.”
Heffron vs Bentley 2 headlines another huge night of BT Sport Boxing for Queensberry Promotions on Friday November 13th.
Chief support to the huge domestic battle will be provided by Tommy Fury (3-0, 2KO’s), who will be returning the ring for the first time since last December. Tyson’s younger brother will undoubtedly be looking for another spectacular first round knockout.
English Champion Michael Ramabeletsa (18-17, 8KO’s) will compete against Chris Bourke (8-0, 5KO’s) in a 10 round Super-Bantamweight clash.
Queensberry new boy Kaisy Khademi (8-0, 2KO’s) makes his promotional debut in a 10 round defense of his WBO European Super-Flyweight title against Birmingham’s Ijaz Ahmed (7-2). The vacant IBF European title will also be on the line.
Rounding out the card will be unbeaten featherweight Louie Lynn (7-0, 6KO’s), former Team GB starlet Muhammad Ali (1-0) and professional debutant Masoud Abdulah.
Heffron vs Bentley 2 will air live on BT Sport, Friday November 13th.