An early finish to Mark Heffron vs Denzel Bentley 2 but no doubts about the winner as the coveted Lonsdale Belt has a new owner
Unfinished business was settled and after only a short break in proceedings, as Oldham’s Mark Heffron and Denzel Bentley of Battersea renewed acquaintances at London’s BT Studios tonight just nine weeks removed from their exciting draw. This time, again on a Frank Warren and BT Sport show, but with the vacant British middleweight title at stake, was poised to be even better, but was surprisingly curtailed after just four rounds. Severe swelling to Heffron’s left eye, caused by an accurate right hand in round two, impaired his vision from then on until his corner judiciously pulled the brave fighter out.
The first meeting saw slick, undefeated Bentley (25) enjoy the better of the early going off the back foot, dropping Heffron, only beaten by Liam Williams, in the second round. But 28-year-old Mark, a former GB amateur rep, finished the stronger with his educated pressure paying dividends down the stretch.
On this occasion, both men began in understandably cautious fashion, picking their shots but wary of counters. This suited fast-handed, rangy Bentley and he enjoyed a dominant second round, buzzing Heffron with a right hand that caused Mark’s left eye to swell rapidly and grotesquely. Bentley was quick to press the advantage, connecting with more rights and growing in confidence as his opponent struggled with his vision.
Bentley exacerbated his opponent’s challenge by using ample feints, while courageous Heffron endeavoured to get inside, where his impairment would be less significant. Perhaps most impressive was that the Londoner remained relaxed, did not become greedy and took what was there and no more, despite what must have been an obvious temptation to go all-out against wounded prey.
It proved to be the sensible approach as his victory, and coronation, was only a matter of time. Bentley told us in fight week that he would “cherish” the British title, so let’s allow him some time to bask in his glory. But mandatory challenger, and Commonwealth king, Felix Cash, is waiting in the wings.