Tyler Denny furious as victory 'snatched away' with controversial draw

Devastated Tyler Denny claimed he felt like quitting boxing after Saturday’s controversial draw with River Wilson-Bent.

Black Country fighter Tyler Denny in action against River Wilson-Bent. Right, Wilson-Bent’s cut which saw the fight stopped.     Pictures: Lawrence Lustig
Black Country fighter Tyler Denny in action against River Wilson-Bent. Right, Wilson-Bent’s cut which saw the fight stopped. Pictures: Lawrence Lustig

The Rowley Regis fighter thought he has clinched the English middleweight title when the bout at Coventry’s Skydome Arena was stopped in the seventh round with his opponent bleeding profusely from a cut above his left eye.

But the 30-year-old’s celebrations were cut short when it became apparent referee Ian John-Lewis has ruled the cut was caused by a clash of heads.

That meant the result was decided on the judge’s scorecards and though Kevin Parker had the fight 67-66 in favour of Denny, John Latham had it level while Shaun Messer favoured Wilson-Bent by an astonisingly wide margin, 68-65.

Denny, in the ascendency when the bout was halted, reacted angrily to the verdict with television replays quickly backing up his claim the cut had been caused by a sixth round punch.

He and his management team were last night exploring their right of appealing the decision.

Speaking immediately after the fight, an exasperated Denny said: “Boxing stinks. I knew it was a punch but regardless of whether it was a head clash, I’ve absolutely battered him.

“No way on earth was he lasting 10 rounds and yet Shaun Messer has given him every round!

“It makes you want to quit. I mean, what is the point? You’ve no chance, have you? I have punched him and his eye is bleeding and it’s still a draw! What more can you do? I’m devastated.”

The meeting with unbeaten Wilson-Bent was Denny’s third shot at the English title, following previous defeats to Reece Cartwright and Linus Udofia.

When told Wilson-Bent had expressed his willingness to have a rematch, Denny hit back: “I don’t think we will have a re-match. He was giving it the big one at the press conference. But he has fought nobody and the first time he has stepped up he has been pumelled pillar to post.

“It would never have lasted 10 rounds. It’s sickening. He (Wilson-Bent) doesn’t know where he is! He is still concussed. I have just battered him.

“If he wants the rematch carry on but there isn’t going to be any difference. What can he do?”

Though Denny was backed by 150 supporters, Wilson-Bent had the advantage of the home crowd.

When asked if he felt like an outsider on the night, Denny replied: “I’m the Z-side! I have just battered him and got a draw. How can the ref give that? He has either seen the head clash or not. He has just guessed. Where do I go from here? It is just sickening.

“Right now I am that deflated I don’t trust the system to box again. It is just a joke. I’d like someone to say OK, you’ve give him every single round, can you explain why? But that never happens and that is why the game stinks.”

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