Battersea’s Denzel Bentley looks to silence critics as he bids to become British king again

Denzel Bentley bids to become a two-time British middleweight champion when he faces Linus Udofia in Greenwich tomorrow night.

The Battersea fighter lost the domestic crown 13 months ago when he was stopped in three rounds by Felix Cash.

But Bentley, 27, gets a chance to regain the title at indigo at The 02.

He claims that rivals in his division have written him off after being outclassed by Cash.

“Before I had won the British no-one was talking about fighting me and now, all of sudden, these guys fancy their chances,” said Bentley. “Myself and Udofia got mandated for the Southern Area and there wasn’t even a conversation about it.

“I don’t go seeking it out but I’ve seen people saying things about me, that they see me as the B side in this fight because he is unbeaten.

“They probably think I’m done and I’m a stepping stone.

“Udofia is good – but he’s not better than me.”

Bentley (15-1-1, 13KOs) is torn over challenging for his old belt, which is now vacant.

He said: “There is a part of me that thinks ‘damn, I’ve got to do this again’. But at least I get the chance to do it again. Some people lose and it is a longer route back, they don’t get the opportunity to fight for whatever title they lost.

“I’ve got to get back to where I was.

“I haven’t completely moved on from the Cash loss because I still want to fight him again and pull one back. But my career doesn’t revolve around him. I’ve got to push on.”

Bentley’s latest ring outing will be shown live on Channel 5 with Wasserman Boxing winning the purse bid.

The South Londoner is contracted to Queensberry Promotions but has no concerns over the judges favouring Udofia.

“Wasserman aren’t flying anyone in to judge – they will be British,” said Bentley.

“It’s not like Canelo [Alvarez] where everyone is in awe of whatever he does.

“I’m expecting them to judge fairly and I’m not worried about that.”

Bentley has not boxed in six months, since a third-round technical knockout of Sam Evans in Birmingham.

“It’s been a nightmare,” he said. “I hate these long lay-offs because I’m always in the gym.

“But training has gone well. I’ve had a good camp and maybe those extra couple of months have not done me any harm.

“I was expecting it to happen in March. We all knew from January what was going on. They won the purse bid quite early.

“I thought that Wasserman were still on Sky and didn’t know they had done a deal with Channel 5. Sky had a show at the end of March with a lot of London boys on it, I thought we might squeeze on there.

“I’ve been ready since January. I feel this is going to be one of my best performances. That’s how good I feel in myself.”

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