Undefeated Kent middleweight talent, Grant Dennis (4-0) steps up on November 28th to face tough southpaw, Wayne Reed (12-13) at Medway Park, Gillingham in a maiden title challenge on a JE Promotions show.
It’ll be the first time that a Kent boxer has challenged for the newly-sanctioned British Challenger belt on an event featuring a host of local talent from the county, including five unbeaten prospects.
“No one’s boxed for this title from this area before so I’ll be the first one to lift it above my head,” said a confident Dennis.
The Promoter’s Association came together to form this new belt and the decision was agreed by the British Boxing Board of Control. The governing body carefully consider each fight put forward by the promoter and will only agree if the fight is worthy of the tag.
A recent winner of the British Challenger belt is top ten-ranked welterweight, Glenn Foot (16-1), a former Prizefighter champion, triumphing over three unbeaten prospects on his way to lifting the trophy back in January 2013.
The 28-year-old from Sunderland defeated former English lightweight champion, Kirk Goodings (11-3) on points last September to claim the newly-formed belt.
Opponent, former Central Area middleweight champion and English title challenger, Wayne Reed, 28-years-old from Sheffield, will represent a huge step up in class for the 32-year-old known as the ‘Go-Getter’ from Chatham.
Dennis, managed by former pro Joe Elfidh, raced to four wins out of four in his debut year punching for pay, kicking off with a shutout points win over Bulgarian, Tzvetozar Iliev (3-6) on July 12th 2014 at the home of boxing – York Hall.
A second outing at the same venue in London’s East End in November last year witnessed a stunning third round stoppage of Lithuanian foe, Sergej Drob (1-8-1) who recently went the distance with Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Callum Johnson.
Dennis dropped his counterpart three times before referee, Robert Williams waved the fight off midway through the penultimate round.
A shutout points win over the durable Lewis van Poetsch (4-16) at Medway Park Leisure Centre in March this year was followed by another, four months later on July 11th at the same Gillingham setting which saw Dennis complete his debut year at 4-0 without ever losing a single round.
The 160-pounder commented on his forthcoming opportunity, “Feels great, this is where I wanna’ be, I feel like I’m ready for a step up and I’d fight for an English title tomorrow if it was offered to me.”
He said of his worthy opponent, Reed, who counts the current English super-middleweight champion, Jahmaine Smyle as a scalp on his ledger, “I welcome the challenge, I’m in boxing to be challenged, there’s no point getting in there just to be cruising.
“He’s gonna’ come to win but I’m really confident. He’s a tough guy that takes a lot of shots and keeps on coming.
“I’ve had great sparring with John Ryder, Lee Markham, and Chris Eubank Jr. and I feel I definitely deserve to be at that this level after mixing it with all those guys; I’ve not left a stone unturned for this fight at all.”
This bout will provide Dennis with his debut performance at middleweight as well as the first contest to potentially take him past four rounds, “I was making the super-mid level so easy so thought I’d may as well make a middleweight and I feel quick and strong at this weight,” he explained.
“I’m totally comfortable with the rounds, it suits me better; I start warming up after three or four rounds.”
The former amateur star who once tackled former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champ, David Price before making the transition to the pros is setting his sights on the highest prizes considering he comes through the next test successfully.
“It’s lovely to win a belt and it will be just another step in the right direction,” said Dennis.
“I’ve got world ambitions, I want to be the best,” he declared. “Two years, realistically, and I want to be mixing it with the likes of experienced fighters like Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders.”
The action-packed JE Promotions event, headed by Joe Elfidh, is titled ‘Kent’s Finest’ and features eight scheduled fights and five unbeaten prospects from ‘The Garden of England’.
Exciting heavyweight action will be provided by Queenborough’s unbeaten Dave Jones (4-0), hunting for his fifth win.
The 34-year-old is hugely popular in his local area and will be looking to close in on the top 20 in the talent-packed division currently topped by Tyson Fury.
Unbeaten middleweight prospect, Oli Edwards (2-0), 20-years-old from Sheerness, goes up against the experienced Lewis van Poetsch (4-27) in his third pro contest over four three-minute rounds.
The young talent, who counts Joe Calzaghe as a mentor, has so far scalped William Warbuton (14-72-6) in March this year, followed by Harjinder Gill (0-14-1) in July, impressing on both shutout points wins.
Mick Mills (1-12), 29-years-old, gets his first fight at home after 13 contests on the road. The southpaw from Gillingham opposes veteran journeyman, Matt Seawright (5-125-5) in a four-rounder at welterweight.
Another journeyman getting to make a return to life as a home fighter is Margate’s Ricky Leach (04-1).
The 25-year-old has a four-round bantamweight contest against Aivaras Balsys (1-18) who has not yet beaten a British fighter.
Maidstone’s 20-year-old super-featherweight prospect, Chris Matthews (1-0) will be looking to double his win tally against Luke Fash (0-1), 25-years-old from Hull.
Matthews defeated the aforementioned Balsys in a shutout points win on his pro bow in July this year at Medway Park.
Unbeaten Middlesex lightweight, Elvis ‘Double El’ Makoda (1-0-2) makes his debut appearance under the JE Promotions banner in a four-round lightweight contest against Welshman Rhys Saunders (0-3-1).
His two stalemates came against a debutant, Ryan Wheeler, who is still unbeaten at 2-0-1, in his last fight in October last year and Central Area light-welterweight challenger, Ben Wager, now 11-8.
Super-featherweight, Martin Hillman (4-2), 24-years-old from Orpington, will be hoping to improve his peppered record in his seventh paid contest.
Emerging promoter, Joe Elfidh plans to put on more shows in Kent next year as well as plans to expand to Chigwell in February and Worksop in March.
For tickets to the show visit https://www.facebook.com/JEsportsnetwork/ or call 07713 770 714. Follow Grant Dennis on Twitter @GoGetterDennis