COVENTRY boxer River Wilson Bent insists the city is no longer a “Ghost Town” ahead of his English title fight against Tyler Denny – in the hometown of iconic band The Specials.
The middleweight fighter takes on Denny for the vacant 160 pound title at the Coventry Skydome Arena on Saturday, November 13, on the Hennessy All-Stars show – broadcast live and free on Channel 5.
Bent’s showdown with Denny will be the 11th fight of his pro career and promoter Mick Hennessy has invested heavily in the hope of reviving the sport in the city with the aim of turning all-action hero Bent into a world champion.
Exhall’s Bent is the former Midlands Area Champion and hopes to pave the way for future boxing stars from the city.
Bent said: “I’ve lived in Coventry all my life and boxing hasn’t been thriving for a while, but it is now. I don’t think we’ve had that since people like Neil Simpson and Dean Pithie.
“We are getting a new generation coming through and I am making the first stamp. The English title is the perfect step towards the British.
“I walk into one of the football songs, In Our Coventry Homes and We Live and Die in These Towns by another Coventry band, The Enemy, but I might do a little edit, who knows.
“Everyone in Coventry knows The Specials and what they’ve done. They all still talk about them and even the younger generations like me, know this is the home of 2-Tone. I don’t mind a bit of it, either.
“There will be a brilliant atmosphere at the Skydome. Expect fireworks. It will be like the city at the moment, buzzing.
“As for that one song, that was about the old Coventry. It’s nothing like that now. Coventry is no Ghost Town, I’m telling you!”
Bent (10-0, 5 KO’s) sees this English title scrap as a close fight and readily admits that 32-year-old Denny (13-2-2) has more experience as a professional.
But with a huge home support behind him the 27-year-old expects to have too much for Denny who has already failed to land the English title on two separate occasions.
He added: “Tyler boxed for the English title twice now and has lost both times, so it is going to be third time unlucky for him. It’s his last chance to get anywhere, so he will give it his all.
“This will move me in the right direction. I could’ve gone for one of those international belts but really I am chasing the British, so the English and win this and hopefully I become the mandatory.
“That’s the next step on my ladder so this is a very, very important fight. And I am going to win it.”
Presented by Hennessy Sports in association with William Hill, Infinitum, Numan and Everlast, tickets are priced at £45, £55, £90 and £120 and are available from https://iceaccount.co.uk/wbc-championship-boxing-info
Other fights on the night include Shakan Pitters v Reece Cartwright for the vacant WBC International Light-Heavyweight Championship which headlines the triple-title card.
Coventry’s Bent takes on Rowley Regis rival Denny for the vacant English Middleweight Championship whilst red hot Irish middleweight sensation Aaron ‘The Silencer’ McKenna will challenge for his first championship title.
Aaron joins older brother Stevie ‘The Hitman’ McKenna who is lighting up the welterweight division with his dynamic and KO performances.
The rest of the Hennessy All Stars team will be out in full force starting with Brixton cruiserweight ace Isaac Chamberlain, welterweight ace Kaisee Benjamin, Birmingham super-middleweight Idris Virgo; Sevenoaks highly talented super-welterweight Michael Hennessy Jr.; undefeated County Donegal middleweight starlet Brett McGinty and unbeaten Brighton heavyweight destroyer Tommy Welch.