Unbeaten middleweight prospect, Grant ‘Go-Getter’ Dennis (5-0) defeated the experienced Wayne Reed (12-14) at Medway Park, Gillingham to lift the British Challenger belt on November 28th.
It was the first time that a Kent boxer has won the newly-sanctioned Challenger belt on the JE Promotions event titled, ‘Kent’s Finest’ featuring exciting prospects from the ‘Garden of England’.
Despite being a bold step up in class for the 32-year-old from Chatham, Dennis excelled in an impressive performance using his fluid movement, rapid hand speed and an exciting variety of combinations to outpoint the 28-year-old southpaw from Sheffield.
Dennis had little trouble getting to grips with Reed, who holds a win over the current English super-middleweight champion – Jahmaine Smyle, boxing skilfully behind an impenetrable defence with swift, stinging attacks.
However, the former Central Area middleweight champion from Yorkshire did not make it easy for the ‘Go-Getter’ in front of his home crowd who stood firm, trading blows until the final bell sounded.
“I felt nice and sharp, and I was strong,” said the victor. “It was a cracking fight but I was too sharp for him.
“I knew he’d be tough, he’s a tough guy and he pushed me but he also got the best out of me.”
The eight-round bout provided the Medway boxer with his first stretch going past four rounds.
“The longer rounds suit me,” stated Dennis. “I start warming up after the first two or three rounds, I could have done 12 rounds in there and I always train for that.”
The Promoter’s Association recently came together to form the Challenger belt, agreed by the BBBofC. The governing body carefully consider each fight presented by the promoter, only approving if deemed worthy of the prize.
“For me, it’s a great achievement especially being the first in Kent to win the belt,” enthused the winner. “I’m hungry so this is just the starters, I’ve still got the main course and dessert to go, so this is just the start of the journey.”
A former amateur star, Dennis once tackled former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champ, David Price when boxing for St. Mary’s ABC in Chatham.
Managed by former pro Joe Elfidh, Dennis raced to four wins out of four in his debut year in the paid ranks and this latest triumph provided Dennis with his first taste of topping a bill.
Following the first milestone in the prospect’s 17-month long career, Dennis is looking ahead to his next fight already, he explained, “I’m waiting on confirmation of being on the David Haye undercard in January at the O2, hopefully, but it’s not confirmed yet.
“I want keep building my record and I want the Southern Area title, hopefully around the middle of next year and would like to be in line for an English by the end of the year.”
Active professional boxer, Dan Woodgate (13-2), 32-years-old from Minster, provided the commentary for the successful Kent show on the last weekend of November.
Queenborough’s 34-year-old heavyweight, Dave Jones (5-0) showed great improvements in his work-rate and movement as he moved up to five fights unbeaten.
The performance was a testament to his trainer, Ray Askew who is turning out some impressive fighters from his Invicta Gym on the Isle-of-Sheppey, unbeaten middleweight, Oli Edwards (2-0) being one of those to watch out for.
Not content with life as a journeyman, Margate’s Ricky Leach (1-5-1) decided to turn his fortunes around as the home fighter and secured the first win of his 17-month long career in what was a tough fight against a very awkward opponent in Lithuanian Aivaras Balsys (1-19).
Maidstone super-featherweight, Chris Matthews (2-0), 21-years-old, put on a great performance as he doubled his win tally, proving himself to be another promising addition to the growing JE Sports stable of fighters.
New recruit, Elvis Makoda (1-1-2) suffered a heavy knockdown and rallied back extremely well only to taste defeat by a single point.
Nicknamed ‘Double El’, the 25-year-old lightweight dropped his first decision allowing 29-year-old Welsh opponent, Rhys Saunders (1-3-1) to secure his first ever win.
Super-featherweight prospect, Martin Hillman (5-2) continued the rebuilding of his career after his loss to Scottish journeyman, Michael Stupart in March this year by defeating Kristian Lakatos (1-8) with the first stoppage win of his career.
The 24-year-old from Sidcup has potential but has been known to get drawn into a fight which was what worked against him in the defeat to Stupart but this time he displayed a maturity beyond his years to stay focused and force the stoppage in the second round after whipping in some hurtful body shots which his opponent failed to recover from.
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.
The boxer-turned-promoter, also a two-time Central Area title challenger, said, “Really pleased with how the show went, we had a big crowd there. Next show is planned for Chigwell in February and Worksop in March.
“I’ve signed some fantastic fighters in Darren Snow, Connor Tongue, Charlie Shane, George Wright and Andy White, all looking to make their debuts in 2016.”
For tickets to the show visit JEsportsnetwork on Facebook or call 07713 770 714. Follow Grant Dennis on Twitter @GoGetterDennis