Denzel Bentley confident he is dangerman in middleweight division after halting Danny Dignum


Denzel Bentley felt his second-round knockout of Danny Dignum underlines what he is capable of when fully focused on boxing.

The Battersea boxer, 29, won the vacant WBO International belt at Bethnal Green’s York Hall on Saturday.

Dignum was down three times in the second round from body punches before referee John Latham stopped the contest.

Bentley (19-3-1, 16KOs) was boxing for the first time since losing his British middleweight title to Nathan Heaney in Manchester in November.

But the South Londoner said that the premature birth of his son Cairo was a factor in that reverse.

“I told you don’t call this a comeback because I knew what I going through mentally in my last fight,” Bentley told TNT Sports in his post-bout ringside interview.

“I just couldn’t lock in and give the performance I needed to give.

“I was fully locked in (against Dignum) – life is going well – and look at the performance I produced.

“I’m a dangerous guy in this division but I need to get my head right and I can do the business.

“The last three or four weeks of my last camp, my baby boy was born prematurely. It was hard to focus – I was in intensive care (with him). I’d already signed the deal (to face Heaney). I’m a professional and I promised I would step in the ring on November 18.

“I just couldn’t pull the trigger and I also underestimated Heaney a little bit, thinking I could go through him.

“Now my baby boy is fine. I’ve got his name on my shorts.”

Bentley challenged WBO world champion Zhanibek Alimkhanuly in November 2022 and lost a unanimous decision in Las Vegas.

“I’ve had a few setbacks and I came back from that – that shows my heart,” said Bentley.

“You can’t hold me back. I want something and I won’t stop until I get it. I want more straps (titles) and I want to go all the way to world level.”

Welling’s unbeaten super-featherweight Archie Sharp moved to 25-0 but had a huge scare against Argentina’s Reuquen Cona Facundo Arce.

The 29-year-old was dropped by a big left hook early in the first round and then went over again before the bell.

Sharp survived to win 77-73 on the scorecard of referee Bob Williams.

“I’ve never been dropped or hit like that in my life,” said Sharp. “I went in there sleeping first round and got caught.

“I was lazy and paid the price on national TV. I know exactly what I did – leaning out and hand down – I’ve got to change that.

“I’m pissed off for myself, in terms of my ego. It has taken 25 fights and now I have. But we’ve got to move on and I’ve got to keep winning fights.”

“I’ve had a great camp but the inactivity doesn’t help.”

Lewisham cruiserweight Ellis Zorro (17-1) is set to box for the vacant British cruiserweight title against Cheavon Clarke (8-0) on May 25.

Zorro has not boxed since being blitzed in one round by Australian Jai Opetaia in Saudi Arabia on December 23.

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