Alimkhanuly vs Bentley – a preview
Every week, upon the eponymous Ricky Gervais podcast, comedian and host Ricky Gervais would deliver a recurring film review. The humorous spin, rationalised as promoting listener inclusivity, had Ricky reviewing established, already-seen films, rather than newly released or upcoming titles. ‘Why review films that have yet to come out?’ he would ask. ‘Surely it is better to review films that people have watched and therefore be able to share in what we're talking about?’
This fight on the 12th of November, at Palm's Casino Resort in Las Vegas, between Britain’s Denzel Bentley and Kazakhstan’s Zhanibek Alimkhanuly has all the suggestions of similar. How many times, for example, have we seen a British fighter get an unexpected opportunity to fight for a world title in America, against an opponent and upon a stage which seems so obviously out of his current depth?
I am in no way suggesting that Bentley is even as accomplished as some of the examples I'm about to list, but recent and relatively modern memory recalls Frank Bruno, also in Vegas, attempting to dethrone and overcome the preternatural pound-for-pound ferocity of champion Mike Tyson; Clinton Woods attempting to defeat Roy Jones Jr; Rocky Fielding travelling to Madison Square Garden to challenge Canelo Alvarez and, as sacrilegious as this may sound, Ricky Hatton’s stateside encounters with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao. Yes, we have seen this film before.
Adhering to the conventions of a preview, I’ll give a little more background…
Denzel Bentley comes into this contest with a record of 17-1-1. He has been British middleweight champion on two occasions and has notable victories over Mark Heffron and Linus Udofia; his only defeat, thus far, was at the hands of the undefeated 13-0 Felix Cash. Fans may indeed be surprised that Denzel has acquired this title shot before Cash has had an opportunity to fight for a world title himself, and their surprise would be understandable and merited. But, as the old saying goes, ‘Boxing, innit’.
This said, Bentley simply does not have the names on his CV that would suggest he will be a credible and endurable opponent for Alimkhanuly, who comes into this contest himself with a perfect 12-0 record, replete with eight KO's. Notable victories include KO wins over both Hassan N’Dam (8th round) and Danny Dignum (2nd round), the former of which British fight fans will remember for defeating an old Martin Murray and for being defeated himself by Callum Smith. Dignum, of course, has a credible victory over Conrad Cummings and a decent draw against Andrey Sirotkin. There is also some footage doing the rounds on social media – and I urge you to check it out if you can, especially if you are looking for an unfailing cure for erectile dysfunction – of Alimkhanuly slapping around Anthony Fowler during the amateurs.
‘Erm…yeh…so…right,’ as the unprepared Gervais would stagger, there really isn’t anything further to add to this preview. Perhaps some of you would prefer a closer look at the tale-of-the-tape, others maybe some tactical analysis, or insight into how Bentley could possibly prevail. The fact of the matter is he won't, so in boxing parlance it is best that I leave you with a simple statement, by way of prediction, intended generously to support all those degenerates amongst you/us who enjoy a bet, poor Denzel Bentley is going TO GET BAPTISED on Saturday night. Somewhere between rounds 5-8. ‘Stand on me.’