DENZEL BENTLEY WILL return to British title business when he defends his middleweight belt against Kieran Smith on the undercard of the Joe Joyce-Zhilei Zhang heavyweight showdown at the Copper Box Arena on April 15, live on BT Sport.
Peacock Gym puncher Bentley (17-2-1, 14) is back fighting in London after his unsuccessful WBO world title tilt against Janibek Alimkhanuly in November, having won back his Lonsdale belt in a vacant title battle against Linus Udofia. He then made an emphatic defence against Marcus Morrison before heading over to Las Vegas to take on the formidable Kazakh.
Smith (18-1, 7), of Scotland, is now operating at middleweight after forging a productive career at super welterweight that saw him become WBC International Silver champion and make two successful defences, before coming to a conclusion in April 2021 when he was stopped by Troy Williamson.
Commonwealth super bantamweight champion Dennis McCann (14-0, 8) will make a first defence of the title he won via defeating Joe Ham last time out, with his Queensberry iBox Gym teammate Sam Noakes (10-0, 10) defending his WBC International Silver and Commonwealth lightweight titles.
McCann made it a title treble at The O2 in November, with the 22-year-old Menace having won the WBC International Silver featherweight championship and the WBO Youth super bantamweight title in his previous two fights, beating James Beech Jr and Charles Tondo respectively.
Noakes added the Commonwealth to his WBC International Silver title on the same show at The O2, bringing his professional tally up to a perfect 10 wins, with 10 KOs.
Up-and-coming Queensberry youngster Sonny Liston Ali (5-0) is in a six-round super lightweight bout and Dagenham super welterweight Joel Kodua (1-0) fights over four.
“A British middleweight title fight is the perfect foil for the big heavyweight collision between Joe and Big Bang Zhang and this will be a strong undercard at the Copper Box, with a little bit more to reveal next week,” said promoter Frank Warren.
“Denzel Bentley proved himself as a world level performer over in Las Vegas against Janibek, a man who the other middleweights wouldn’t go near. If Denzel had gone on the attack a bit sooner it could have been a different outcome.
“He can return to the top table and an upside for him – and us – is that he can maintain his momentum in meaningful British title fights, but Kieran Smith fully intends to knock him off-course.
“Dennis McCann and Sam Noakes are both fully up and running in the title-winning business and I am looking forward to seeing them back in action in title defences ahead of a big year for them both.
“There will be at least one more exciting addition to the card ahead of the tickets going on sale on Wednesday 15th February. Stay tuned for that.”
Tickets for the showdown between Joyce and Zhang on 15 April at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday, 15 April go on sale at 11am on Wednesday, 15 February from ticketmaster.co.uk.
Fans are encouraged to sign-up for Ticket Alerts to receive the ticket link directly to their inbox ahead of tickets going on sale.