Dubois vs. Lartey undercard update: Archie Sharp; Denzel Bentley
ARCHIE SHARP WAS thinking big when he made public the name of the fighter he would relish sharing a ring with.
The perfect name in the frame for the unbeaten 24-year-old is Lee Selby, the former IBF world featherweight king, who was memorably unseated by Josh Warrington at Elland Road last May.
After being parted from his belt in Leeds, Selby has since jumped up two weights and, last time out, collected an IBF Intercontinental strap following victory over Omar Douglas in London.
Now Sharp, 14-0 and holder of the WBO European title, is not kidding himself and knows full well that Selby is not about to offer himself up as an opponent to enhance the record of ambitious young contenders.
But the Kent-based super featherweight fully believes in himself and is confident he would emerge victorious from mixing in such illustrious company.
“Yeah they are definitely fights that I want and I know I am ready for that sort of fight,” insisted Sharp, who put an end to the unbeaten record of Lyon Woodstock in his last fight back in October. “Obviously, looking at the business side of things, he isn’t gonna be interested in it, but I know that I am at and beyond that level.
“I’m not just saying it, but I don’t think there is a fighter out there who could go on the back foot and try and outbox me – I really don’t think there is a fighter who can outbox me.”
Sharp is back in the ring after recovering from injury at the SSE Arena, Wembley on April 27, from which point he intends to significantly accelerate his progress towards the top of the super featherweight tree.
“I know where I am going in this sport and I’ve got a little plan to be in world title fights in the next 18 months. Within that time I will be at world level, mixing with the top fighters, for sure.”
There is an art to knocking out an opponent- and it seems that Battersea-boxer, Denzel Bentley has really got the knack of it.
The heavy-hitting middleweight searches for victory number ten on April 27th at The SSE Arena, Wembley and he will be hoping to add a ninth knockout to his professional resume.
There isn’t many boxers in the country that can boast a better knockout percentage than Bentley’s and loading up with your punches isn’t the way to approach landing the lethal blow.
“It’s more to do with timing and slowing down my work” explains the 24-year-old.
He continued; “Because, when I first came here [Peacock gym] I was an amateur and it was all about fast work and a high work rate because it’s only 3 rounds.
“So, when I came to the pro’s it was all about settling down, picking my shots more and timing just comes naturally better because you’re thinking about your work.”
Denzel will be in a six round contest when fighting on the undercard to stable-mate Daniel Dubois’ heavyweight bout against Richard Lartey and will be looking to take his undefeated record into double digits.
The Londoner will be hoping another victory on April 27th will be the gateway to fighting for the opportunity to claim a maiden title as a pro.
“The Southern Area title- I’ve been trying to chase that for a while now.
“The English title”- which is currently held by Reece Cartwright and will be defending the belt against Jack Cullen in May- “if the winner is free and I can jump in with one of them, I’d be more than happy to do that!
“In actual reality, I’ll fight for any title to be honest! 50/50 fights- I want them type of opponents.
“I don’t want to be hanging about fighting opponents I am meant to beat because I’m in here everyday training hard- sweating, putting my life into this, making sacrifices- so I don’t want to waste it on meaningless fights. I know you’ve got to build, but I want to get stuck in there.”
Daniel Dubois v Richard Lartey tops the bill at the SSE Arena, Wembley on April 27 on a card that also includes the Commonwealth super middleweight title fight between Lerrone Richards and Tommy Langford, as well as the Southern Area super middleweight title clash between Zak Chelli and Jimmy Smith. WBO European super flyweight champion Sunny Edwards and WBO European super featherweight champion Archie Sharp also feature.
Rangy Super Welterweight talent Hamzah Sheeraz will be back out after his impressive win over Rod Douglas Jnr. Hard hitting middleweight and Peacock gym product Denzel Bentley (9-0) and Belfast amateur middleweight star Caoimhin Agyarko will also return to action. There are Queensberry debuts for unbeaten welterweight Chris Kongo (10-0) and Sheffield middleweight Shakiel Thompson (2-0) – with Thompson being tipped by sparring partner Billy Joe Saunders as a star for the future. Ilford Super Middleweight Umar Sadiq (4-1) also returns as he looks to rebuild after his first career loss. Tunde Ajayi trained lightweight Bilal Ali (1-0) will have his second professional fight after making a successful start to his pro career, with Hoddesdon super lightweight Alfie Price set for his fifth.
Tickets will be priced as £40, £50, £75, £100 and £150 and are now ON SALE to purchase via Eventim, Ticketmaster, the SSE Arena website and AXS.com