A truly compelling fight on the undercard of Natasha Jonas vs Marie Eve Dicaire sees Tyler Denny and Bradley Rea go toe-to-toe in a middleweight clash over ten rounds. Both men come here in fine form, with a British Title shot in their sights provided they get the job done on Saturday night.
Bradley Rea vs Tyler Denny for the English Middleweight Title - Photo: @bradrea_ on Twitter
Both men have had their hand raised on 14 occasions, with Rea boasting an unblemished record and Denny winning the English Title in his last outing. This fight is such a strong undercard bout for what is a sensational event. There is so much at stake here domestically at 160-pounds.
Being a Stretford man, ‘Sting’ will have the crowd behind him as he makes his ring walk in a sold-out Manchester Arena. The stands will be in raptures as their undefeated local boxing hero makes the walk from the dressing room to the ring, fuelled by the atmosphere and buzz of the Mancunian crowd.
Don’t think for one second that being the underdog and fighting away from home in his opponents back yard will get to Tyler Denny though. The West Midlands man is used to being in the away corner and fighting in a cauldron atmosphere. Time after time the 31-year-old has proved his doubters wrong, fought in the away corner, against the home fighter, yet has still come out on top.
Just look at his last four fights. Two fights against River Wilson-Bent in his hometown of Coventry. Denny came out of those with a comprehensive win in one, and a suspect draw in the other, with many boxing fans feeling Denny should have had his hand raised. The time before that Denny was the underdog against Derrick Osaze, eventually beating him on his travels to Sheffield. The fight before that was another incredibly close affair with Linus Udofia. The result didn’t go the way of Denny on that occasion, but he travelled down to London, again in the away corner, and put up a brave fight.
Tyler Denny will be hopeful of making a successful first defence of his English Middleweight Title
It’s become almost the norm for Tyler Denny to travel and fight against the odds, away from home, in an arena that is rooting for his downfall. The same will happen again on Saturday night as Denny walks to the ring looking to upset the hometown hero and leave Manchester with yet another huge scalp on his record.
Bradley Rea will know all of this. He would have to be very foolish to underestimate the challenge and threat that Tyler Denny poses come fight night.
The 24-year-old Lancashire lad will be hopeful of becoming a star in his hometown on November 12th. Already it is clear to see the popularity Rea has in his local area, selling hundreds of tickets for this show alone. This is without a doubt the toughest fight of his career to date, but one he should be relishing and up for.
When you compare the resumés of both Denny and Rea, it’s fair to say that the Midlands man is the more seasoned pro. He has been in bigger fights, on bigger cards and fought more live opponents than Rea. However, he has been beaten twice before, albeit by quality opposition. It’s probably fair to assume that we don’t really know just how good Bradley Rea is. He has a few stunning knockouts, has never tasted defeat and looks to be on a slow upwards trajectory in the pro ranks.
Rea certainly has youth on his side in this fight. He is seven years the younger man here, as well as being the taller and more rangy fighter. On paper, you’ve got to give Rea the physical advantages. But we all know boxing isn’t fought on paper. Strange things can happen, huge upsets can occur, a star can be born overnight, or similarly shot to the ground. The victor on Saturday night in this middleweight clash has a big 2023 ahead of them with a shot at the coveted Lonsdale belt almost a certainty.
Rea has some outstanding wins on his record over Lee Cutler and particularly Jez Smith. The Smith fight was seen as a real 50/50 contest at the time, and Rea put in a stunning performance to get the win on the referee’s scorecard after eight rounds. A beautifully timed left body shot in the opening round was the difference in the end. Rea can mix it up, body and head, which he will need to do this weekend if he is to cause Tyler Denny some huge problems.
Bradley Rea has looked punch-perfect in his professional boxing career to date
Tyler Denny obviously has those big wins against the likes of River Wilson-Bent and Derrick Osaze in which he was the underdog, but it’s his two losses that are important too. Linus Udofia and Reece Cartwright are the only two men to have beaten the 31-year-old. Both were extremely close fights as well. Denny knows how to go to the well and will have learnt just as much from those losses as he has done his wins.
Another intriguing aspect of this fight is the battle of an orthodox fighter against a southpaw. Denny being the southpaw, is used to fighting against orthodox fighters, whereas for the orthodox Rea, fighting a southpaw can sometimes cause more problems than fighting a normal right-handed boxer.
The last southpaw Rea faced was at the beginning of this year in a first round blowout of Craig McCarthy. Apart from that, the Mancunian has had limited experience against any fighter on the level of Tyler Denny who fights out of the southpaw stance. For the West Midlands man, he is used to fighting orthodox opponents. It’s his bread and butter. Ultimately it could prove to be completely insignificant, but just something to note ahead of the fight on Saturday night.
What an utterly tremendous fight we potentially have in store between these two British middleweights. A true 50/50 fight in a world of one sided match-ups is always refreshing, and we certainly have one on our hands in this bout. This one is not to be missed as Bradley Rea and Tyler Denny face-off looking to become the next challenger to Denzel Bentley’s British Title next year.
Tyler Denny (14-2-3, 0 KOs)
River Wilson Bent - WIN - SD (97-93, 96-93, 94-96)
River Wilson Bent - DRAW - TD (67-67, 67-66, 65-68)
Derrick Osaze - WIN - PTS (97-93)
Linus Udofia - LOSS - MD (95-95, 94-97, 94-96)
Bradley Rea (14-0, 5 KOs)
Angel Emilov - WIN - PTS (60-55)
Lukas Ndafoluma - WIN - PTS (78-73)
Craig McCarthy - WIN - TKO Round 1
Jez Smith - WIN - PTS (77-75)
Date: November 12th 2022
Time: Approx. 9.30PM Ring Walk (GMT)
Venue: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England, UK
Promotor: Boxxer / Sky Sports
Official Fight Night Poster - Photo: @boxxer on Twitter
Elsewhere on this stellar card, Natasha Jonas looks to unify the super-welterweight division as she faces Marie Eve Dicaire for the WBC, WBO and IBF titles in the main event. Elsewhere on the undercard, Dalton Smith defends his British Super-Lightweight Title against Kaisee Benjamin, with Frazer Clarke taking on Kamil Sokolowski in a heavyweight contest.
Viddal Riley also returns in the cruiserweight division and faces Ross McGuigan, whilst Dylan Cheema takes on Ross Ellison in a lightweight contest. Natasha Jonas’ stablemate, Clark Smith, also features on the bill, as does Jack Kilgannon, the Oldham middleweight prospect.