Linus Udofia vs. Denzel Bentley: The Press Conference
Photo credit: Leigh Dawney/Wasserman Boxing
‘Lightning’: “I always knew we were in line to meet each other at some point because he kept excelling and I kept excelling”
Linus ‘Lightning’ Udofia (17-0, 9 KOs) and Denzel ‘2Sharo’ Bentley (15-1-1, 13 KOs) had their say amongst a stacked card in the capital at Wasserman Boxing today.
In preparation for the launch of the first free-to-air event, live on Channel 5 on Friday May 13 at the Indigo at the O2, both fighters were ready to shine under the bright lights as their paths have finally met.
“I knew I was fighting Bentley. The logical choice for the board was Bentley, and I knew he wouldn’t say no to it. I knew it would always be him,” said Udofia.
“I know it’s a big fight without going on social media. I’ve seen the reaction I’ve been getting everywhere I’ve gone – people coming up to me and saying it is a massive fight, or mentioning the advert on Channel 5. I know how big this fight is without all the noise that you eat with it.”
This will not be the first time Bentley has been in the ring for a British Title. A former winner of the coveted belt, who has enough respect for his opponent to know that they experiences cannot be the thing he solely relies on.
“He’s been in title fights too, so I’m not counting on that. I always knew we were in line to meet each other at some point because he kept excelling and I kept excelling. It’s not long now until we get to find out who’s the better fighter.”
Josh Kelly (10-1-1, 6 KOs) returns to stick his name back in contention amongst the top talent in the sport. Necessary changes have been made, including the move up in weight, to bounce back and put on a dazzling display.
“I feel refreshed. I’ve been in the gym the whole time I’ve been out. I’ve got a smile on my face, I’m going to perform on Friday and I’m going to enjoy it; that’s the main thing. It’s going to be a hard nights work for my opponent,” said Kelly.
“I feel strong, I feel fit, and I feel like this is the move for me. It’s going to show on Friday. There are levels in this sport, and when that first bell goes, he knows he’ll be swimming in deep water and it’ll be too much.”
Harlem Eubank (13-0, 5 KOs) will be looking to continue his rise as he faces former Commonwealth Champion and two-time British Title challenger Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd (17-6-1, 3 KOs).
Scheduled for ten rounds in this Super Lightweight showdown, Eubank has pinpointed now to be the right time to face a dangerous Dodd.
“This is exactly what I wanted. This is a Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd who has been through hardship and come through the other side. This is a man with a stronger mindset, and I’m prepared for the best version of Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd come Friday. I believe that is what he will be.
“Sean mentioned that I’m a fighter that has been invested in, but I don’t think that’s me. I’m a fighter who has kicked down the doors himself, taken the opportunities, and I’m here based on merit and on my performances.
“I’m physically and mentally prepared and I’m excited to put on a display come Friday night in the true fashion by showing how I got here and where I’m going in the future.”
The experienced ‘Masher’ Dodd has been around the block before. The levels he has competed at convince him that he has seen enough to know what sort of fighter he has been up against.
Not only his past experiences, but recent hardships have provided him a new lease of life, and a new appreciation for the opportunity Friday night brings. An opportunity he is eager to take.
“I know what I’m up against with Harlem, more than you realize. These past couple of years have been leading to this opportunity now,” said Dodd.
“When I got this opportunity, I realized THIS is the platform. Let’s go back into boxing and enjoy it. Lets show people, and ourselves, what we’ve achieved these past couple of years. The years of experience in fighting, and the past two years of pain and trauma and graft; lets put them two together and put it out there on Friday, Live on Channel 5.”
Brilliant British bouts continue, as ‘The Newquay Bomb’ Brad Pauls (15-0, 9 KOs) goes up against Birmingham’s Ryan Kelly (16-3, 8 KOs). A fight with incentive in this eliminator for the British Middleweight Title. Yet to suffer a loss, Pauls will be fighting to set up a potential chance to compete for the title against his training partner and friend of his, Udofia.
It will be no walk in the park, as Ryan Kelly’s only blemishes have come against high-level opponents. He’ll be looking to mix all these in-ring lessons with the additional energy he has now entered a new division.
“I’ve found my weight now, and I’m looking forward to some big fights at middleweight. I’m feeling good,” said Kelly.
“The lights, the dressing rooms, it’s a big feeling going into these fights. I’ve got the experience of fighting on a few different platforms, and It’s a great feeling fighting on a Wasserman card as well. I appreciate the opportunity and I’m ready to go Friday night”.
Pauls will be looking to kickstart a winning night for his gym, ahead of Udofia’s fight in the main event. The work that they have put in is a collective is something he believes will lead them to victory, and he cannot wait to show he is at his best live on Friday night.
“It’s a massive night for our gym. We’ve taken it to a different level this training camp. I’ve hit personal bests in every area of my training, and I’ve taken this fight so seriously. Knowing Linus has got the biggest night of his life from him as well, we’ve pushed each other and it is good to have that inside the gym. We’re in a very good position, and it is a big night for us.
“I’ve asked to be challenged, so let us see how good I am,” continued Pauls. “I’m more than capable, I’m very confident, and I’m more than prepared. I feel like me at 100% beats Ryan at 100%.”
The hotly anticipated British Middleweight Title clash between Linus Udofia and Denzel Bentley, the return of Josh Kelly (10-1-1, 6 KOs) against Xhuljo Vrenozi (18-4,3 KOs) and Harlem Eubank (13-0, 5 KOs) ) versus Sean Dodd (17-6-1, 3 KOs) will top a stacked card in the capital as Wasserman Boxing launch their first free-to-air event live on Channel 5 on Friday May 13 at the Indigo at the O2, in association with William Hill, Numan and Infinitum Entertainment.
Limited tickets are still available via www.wassermanboxing.com
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