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Brilliant Tyler Denny beats Felix Cash to retain European title

Tyler Denny delivered a brilliant performance to beat Felix Cash by technical decision and retain his European middleweight title.

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The Rowley Regis fighter, told he had “no chance” in the build-up by his previously unbeaten opponent, was comfortably ahead on all three scorecards when the fight was stopped in the fifth round at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena with Cash bleeding heavily from a cut ruled to be caused by a clash of heads.

Replays suggested it was actually a punch which had done the damage but the details mattered little to Denny, who scored a sixth straight win and comfortably the biggest of his career, which will propel him into world title contention.

Speaking in the ring immediately after the fight, the 32-year-old said: "I am buzzing man. I was battering him. He wasn't lasting. He was tired after two rounds. The way that was going, he was gone. He was desperate."

Denny went into the fight on one of the best runs of anyone in British boxing but was still considered an underdog by many observers against Cash, who had looked destined for the very top of the sport when he demolished Denzel Bentley inside three rounds to win the British title three years ago.

But this was the 31-year-old's first fight in 18 months and he showed every inch of rust you might expect, with Denny took full advantage while being roared on by a raucous home crowd.

Cash, who had paced the ring during the pre-fight announcements, landed the better punches in the opening round but by the second Denny had turned the tide.

Soon his opponent was bleeding from a cut which appeared to be caused by a solid left. At the end of the fourth a booming right had Cash hanging on for the bell but it provided only brief salvation, with referee Mark Lyons calling a halt to the contest 35 seconds into the fifth after the ringside doctor had assessed the eye.

Denny celebrated, then looked pensive as he awaited the scorecards. In reality, there was no need for nerves, with two judges putting him 49-46 up and the other 49-47.

While Denny enjoyed another career highlight, there was frustration for Black Country Boxing stablemate Conah Walker who lost a points decision to Ireland’s Lewis Crocker after a superb 10-round welterweight contest.

Wolverhampton’s Walker, who had won his previous two fights by knockout, put in a brilliant performance against unbeaten Crocker but did not do enough to convince the judges.

A promotion named Into the Lion’s Den would have been more aptly billed the Wolf’s Den when Walker emerged to terrific noise.

“There’s only one Conah Walker” was echoing around the arena at the first bell and Walker looked a man on a mission as he immediately went on the front foot, looking to close the distance.

But in a moment which came to sum up the contest, it was Crocker - who had stopped 11 of his previous 19 opponents inside the distance - who landed the most telling punch with a looping left which sent Walker’s head rocking back. It was the kind of punch which clearly earned favour with the judges.

Yet even when his opponent landed clean, Walker was undeterred, pushing forward at every opportunity. The eighth and ninth rounds were particularly strong for the Wolves man, though the latter saw him deducted a point for hitting below the belt, a decision greeted by loud boos from the crowd.

When the final bell went, both boxers celebrated victory but it was Crocker who dropped to his knees in celebration when the scores were read out as he took the decision 96-93, 96-93, 95-94.

Earlier in the evening, Walsall’s Hamza Uddin made it two wins from two in the professional ranks with a dominant points win over Italy’s Giulio Commerso.

Uddin, an eight-time national amateur champion, could not quite deliver the knockout he had promised in the build-up but still delivered an eye-catching performance against a durable opponent.

The result was made that bit more impressive by the fact the 20-year-old was stepping up a division from super-flyweight to bantamweight, due to a late change of opponent.

Uddin’s left jab was the dominant punch of the six-round fight, while he also landed some heavy right hands, most notably in the fourth round when Commerso was also docked a point for holding. By the finish Uddin took it 60-53 on the referee’s scorecard.

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