Tyler Denny has assured his devastated fans that he’ll bounce back ‘better and stronger’ after his challenge for the English Middleweight Title ended in defeat to Leeds’ Reece Cartwright at Walsall Town Hall last Saturday (22nd Sept).
The popular Midlands boxer took to instagram soon after the clash where he posted a candid photograph revealing the horrific extent of his facial injuries and which removed any possible doubt about referee Terry O’Conner’s decision to, on the advice of the ringside medics, stop the fight towards the conclusion of the 8th round.
Cartwright, who came into the fight as firm favourite, also took to social media to dedicate his win to the late Brendan Ingle. In addition he paid respect to his opponent describing Denny as both a ‘great fighter and a great sportsman.’ He now moves to an impressive record of 22 – 1 – 0 with 13 KOs and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to hear mention of a potential clash with current British Middleweight Champion Jason Welborn at some point in the not too distant future.
For Denny, the long road to recovery takes priority and it will take some time to achieve this, not just physically but mentally too. The facial injuries, as bad as they were – and they were bad (a terribly swollen right eye that was borderline closed and a lip cut so badly that one could almost describe it as cleft) will heal but the mental scars that could easily remain and hinder his progress if not addressed both in and out of the ring are a major concern.
With this in mind, Team Denny have their work cut out.
So where did it all go wrong for Team Denny?
Armchair pundits are a dime a dozen. After every fight they appear like flying ants bursting onto the scene on a hot summer’s afternoon when all the conditions seem just right and no-one appears to be able to stop the emergence. So we accept that our opinion at MBC is just what it is, an opinion, carrying no more weight than a grain of sand sat on the ass of a mule. However, for whatever it’s worth, here it is.
Tactically – did he fight the wrong fight?
Tyler Denny is the type of stylish defensive fighter that likes to invite pressure and counter. All of his wins to date have been on points. He enjoys slipping and moving then hitting and hurting his opponents. He rarely however, knocks them out.
To make his counterpunching style work when his opponent was stood at 8 inches taller, had a significant reach advantage and was known for stopping his opponents would have called for some seriously high level slipping and countering.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Cartwright fought behind a wicked and hugely effective jab and stayed clear of the dangerous looking counters just enough to inflict the level of damage that was necessary to break Denny down. Perhaps if from the very beginning of the fight Denny had tried to push Cartwright back off his front foot and out of his comfort zone he might have had more success. Yes it would have been risky, but it might have been a risk worth taking.
Preparation – was his previous opponent the right choice?
Denny’s last fight was a 6 round contest against Lewis Van Poetch who quite frankly gave him very little to think about. Poetch who is known more for his ring entrance, white gown and distinctive moustache than for his fighting skills, hasn’t won a bout since November 2017 and didn’t win a single round when he faced Denny in July of this year. Okay, he does have a water-tight defence which presents an interesting challenge of course, but attacking-wise he’s just not particularly potent.
As a warm up for a dangerous title fight this was far from ideal and the camp will know that this was probably their biggest mistake with regards to Denny’s preparation for what turned out to be his toughest fight to date.
Did Denny have a Plan B?
It’s difficult to say. He certainly attacked Cartwright’s body more during the third and fourth rounds and had he been successful in landing a few more counters too during this period who knows what might have happened. The odd success that he did have had Cartwright looking wobbly and unsure but the affect wasn’t long lasting enough to throw him off his stride. Ultimately though it was Denny’s warrior instinct and desire to overcome that, more than anything else, appeared to keep him in the fight right up until the referee called a halt to the proceedings. Had he not been pulled out by the ref then as far as Denny was concerned, if he was going to lose the fight it would have been as a gladiator being carried out on his shield.
So what next?
Only time will tell. The famous boxer Pat Barrett once said a loss is as good as twenty wins. Going by what Denny has said since his devastating defeat, he sees it that way too. And knowing him as we do, we have no reason to doubt that Tyler Denny will be back, as he says, better and stronger than ever before.
And we look forward to seeing him back.