DOMESTIC MIDDLEWEIGHT RIVALS Mark Heffron and Denzel Bentley are all set to repeat their thrilling September encounter on Friday night – live on BT Sport – and this time the coveted British title is on the line.
Heffron (25-1-1) and Bentley (13-0-1) were given the opportunity today for a final say on how they think this highly-anticipated collision will play out in the ring and the questions and answers are detailed in full below.

The judges scored the first fight 95-95, what went through your head when you heard that?
DB: I was disappointed because I thought I nicked it and I thought the last round would give me the decision. At the end of the day we are in a better position now and I’ve got to make this one count.
Were you disappointed with the scores or a little bit disappointed with yourself?
DB: That is a good question. Maybe a bit of both, but the scores mainly. I thought I did what I needed to do apart from falling asleep in the middle rounds and allowing him to come back into the fight. Other than that, more so the scorecards.
A clear Denzel Bentley win in your eyes?
DB: Yes.
Mark, how many times have you watched the fight back?
MH: I’ve watched the fight 10 or 11 times now and I see the same thing every time. I think I won the fight.
What makes you think you did more than Denzel?
MH: I just feel like I landed the much bigger shots, the more work and the cleaner shots.
Talk us through the knockdown. Were you hurt?
MH: Not at all. Not one bit was I hurt because I was more off-balance than anything. I got straight up and straight back on with it and I feel like I won the rest of the round.
You’ve gone on record saying Denzel is deluded because he says he won. Why is he so far wrong?
MH: He is deluded because I clearly won the fight and he thinks he won it.
Are you deluded, Denzel?
DB: Listen, there is one person saying he won every round of that fight so there is only one person that is deluded here.
You scored the knockdown in the fight. Did you think you had hurt him?
DB: No, I know I didn’t hurt him. He just walked into a shot, panicked and went down. I knew he wasn’t ready to go and that is why I didn’t jump on him. He is right, he wasn’t hurt.
There was a point in the fight when it looked like you were hurt with a clean shot landed by Mark. Were you hurt?
DB: It was a good shot. I wasn’t hurt, but it buzzed me a bit, my chin was in the air and I was a bit tired. It was a good shot that took me two seconds to recover from.
What can Mark do differently in the rematch?
DB: You have to ask him. I have no clue.
What can you change Mark? Do you feel you need to change anything?
MH: We’ve made a few changes that you will see on the night.
You have been with Michael Jennings a little bit longer. How much of a difference is that going to make?
MH: I’d been in the gym with Michael for one week and then we got the fight date. The last camp was more just getting fit for the fight. This camp we have got a good, good game plan and we’ve made a few changes.
Denzel, you are fighting a lot right now. You might be the most active fighter in lockdown, with also fighting in July against Mick Hall. Are you tired?
DB: No, I am alright, I’m happy, I’m active and a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to fight at all. I am grateful, happy and I appreciate it.
It felt like you changed your style from what we are used to. It felt like you went from being a big power puncher to a bit of a mover. Talk us through that?
DB: I didn’t change anything, it is just a side you haven’t seen before. Unless you have seen me in the gym or in the amateurs, you won’t know that I can do whatever I want to do in the ring. That is just the side I decided to show that day, the side I felt would win the fight. You don’t just go in there and think you will run through everyone. You’ve got to pick and choose.
Can you improve on the first performance? Do you have to improve? What do you need to do differently?
DB: I think I can improve in general and not just because of the first fight against Mark. I am going to improve throughout my career. I have only been a pro for three years and got to this level quickly despite not having a deep amateur career. I have improved quickly and there are more improvements to make.
Ahead of the first fight, you were saying; ’I’ll win”. This time you’re saying; ‘Tune in because I will stop him.’ Where has this confidence come from?
DB: It is not about finding confidence, but knowing what I can do. I feel like I am going to stop him and that is it.
Were there chinks in Mark’s armour in the first fight that maybe you didn’t exploit?
DB: You find that in anyone. I just feel I will stop him.
Has Mark got the power to stop you?
DB: He couldn’t finish me in the first fight and he isn’t going to finish me now.
You landed a big shot in round nine of the first fight. You have a big reputation as a fearsome puncher. What does it do for your confidence when you land clean and he’s still there?
MH: When you step up levels one shot doesn’t knock opponents out. That is where I have gone wrong in the past – admiring my shots and stuff like that. I have been working with Michael Jennings on not admiring my work, but putting shots together.
Are you looking to take the decision out of the judges’ hands and getting the job done early?
MH: I am ready for a good, solid 12 rounds, but if I can take it out of the judges’ hands I will.
Has he got the power to stop you?
MH: He definitely hasn’t got the power to stop me.
It’s your first 12 rounder and first crack at a British title. You have been accused of taking rounds off. This is 12 rounds. How can you not take rounds off?
DB: I will do what I need to do and be in that fight every round. It is not a matter of taking rounds off. It’s a matter of boxing how I feel is appropriate on the night. I did ten rounds last time and finished strong so the extra two rounds won’t hurt.
What will becoming British champion mean to you?
DB: It would mean a lot to me. I have been calling for this title for a while so to finally get a chance to fight for it is good. I’m happy for the chance and excited. Being champion of your home country is something else.
You have a WBO ranking, number 14 so there is a lot at stake.
DB: They saw the last fight.
What are you going to do differently?
MH: You’ll see how I am going to finish him on the night.
What does it potentially mean to you to win the British title?
MH: To win the British title on Friday means the absolute world to me. I can’t wait and I am buzzing. A British title is what every domestic fighter wants and I feel I should be British champion now if Jason Welborn hadn’t pulled out. Instead, I moved up a few levels and fought Liam Williams.
What do you think of that world ranking on the line?
MH: It’s a massive opportunity because there will also be a world ranking.
What is your final message?
MH: I hope he has worked hard, because I know I have. I can’t wait.
Anything you want to say to Mark?
DB: Just show up on Friday, Mark.

Pound-For-Pound: Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford Set for Kell Brook Challenge

Crawford-Brook and Franco-Moloney 2 world title doubleheader to air LIVE Saturday on ESPN & ESPN Deportes starting at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Courtesy: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

LAS VEGAS – The pound-for-pound king, WBO welterweight world champion Terence Crawford, renewed acquaintances with Kell Brook Wednesday afternoon, nearly nine months after they had a brief conversation at the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury 2 weigh-in inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena. This time, they sat six feet apart on a socially distanced press conference dais three days before their championship showdown, which will air LIVE on ESPN and Deportes (10 p.m. ET), and exclusively on Premier Sports in the UK. When it came time to face off, they edged closer, neither man willing to give an inch.

In the co-feature — a rematch of one of the most memorable Bubble bouts — WBA super flyweight world champion Joshua “El Profesor” Franco will attempt to repeat the deed against Andrew “The Monster” Moloney. Franco upset Moloney via unanimous decision on June 23, as Moloney faded in the later rounds after suffering a pair of perforated eardrums.

At the press conference, this is what they had to say.

Terence Crawford

“I’ve always felt that I’m number one pound-for-pound in the world. This is what I do.”
“I’m not the one to quit on a fight, but I can’t say the same about him. I wish him the best.”
“At the end of the day, this is nothing new to me. I have fought in an arena where there are 50 people. I’ll go in there and get the job done as I always do.”

Kell Brook

“I’ve been after this fight for a long time. I’m more than ready! I’m in the best condition of my life, and I’m ready to become a two-time world champion. I’m like fine wine. I’m getting better as I get older. I’m ready.”
”I think Terence knows I’m not an easy fight. I want him to bring the best out of me. I’m pushing myself to perform the best I can. I pulled myself away from my family and from all the distractions. I’m making the sacrifice of being away from my family because I want to be great.”
“It will be great for the UK for me to come through and become world champ against the number one fighter in the world. I know who Terence is, and that’s why I have prepared the way I have. I’m a big welterweight, and I can punch with both hands. This is what I do. The talking is done. All the work has been done. It’s time to perform.”

Joshua Franco

“It’s great to be back in The Bubble, and now that I have the title, it is even better. I have more confidence and I’m getting better. I have the confidence of having Robert (Garcia) in my corner. That is great. He has great experience. We are looking for better opportunities after Saturday.”

Andrew Moloney

“I’ve never been so determined to do something in my life. I’m thankful for the opportunity to redeem myself. For the past five months, I have prepared myself to leave with that belt around my waist. That belt means everything to me. It’s my son’s future. I’m not leaving without it.”
“It wasn’t my best night, but you are going to see a much better fighter this time around. He is going to think he is in the ring with a different fighter.”



ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Terence Crawford vs. Kell Brook, 12 rounds, Crawford’s WBO welterweight world title

Joshua Franco vs. Andrew Moloney 2, 12 rounds, Franco’s WBA super flyweight world title

ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Joshua Greer Jr. vs. Edwin Rodriguez , 8 rounds, bantamweight

Tyler Howard vs. KeAndrae Leatherwood, 8 rounds, middleweight

Duke Ragan vs. Sebastian Gutierrez, 4 rounds, featherweight

Vegas Larfield vs. Juan Alberto Flores, 4 rounds, bantamweight

Raymond Muratalla vs. Luis Porozo, 6 rounds, lightweight

Naoya Inoue KOs Jason Moloney – Mikaela Mayer Wins World Title in Co-Feature

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)
LAS VEGAS – The Monster came to Las Vegas. He conquered. Naoya “Monster” Inoue, the pound-for-pound talent from Japan, defended his WBA/IBF/Ring Magazine bantamweight world titles Saturday with a seventh-round knockout over Australian contender Jason “Mayhem” Moloney.

Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) improved to 15-0 in world title bouts, and at 27 years old, the three-division world champion is approaching his physical prime. Moloney (21-2, 18 KOs), who previously challenged for a world title in 2018, saw his four-bout winning streak come to an end. 

Inoue said, “The final punch, the finishing punch, I’m very happy and satisfied with that punch.
“Moloney has a great defense, and it was very difficult to get through. The two punches you mentioned are something we really practiced in Japan a lot, and I was able to perform well and use it, and I’m very happy with that.”

Added Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman: “The Monster is a special fighter. I haven’t seen a young fighter like that in a long time. And credit to Jason Moloney for fighting like a warrior. He gave it his absolute best.”

Mayer Claims World Title

Mikaela Mayer called for a world title bout for quite some time. When that time came, she took advantage of the opportunity. Mayer defeated Ewa Brodnicka by unanimous decision (100-88 2x and 99-89 ) to win the WBO female junior lightweight world title, a dominant outing for the 2016 Olympian.

Brodnicka (19-1, 2 KOs) lost her world title on the scale Friday after missing weight by .1 pounds, an unfortunate end to a title reign that included five successful defenses. The scores were indicative of the bout’s one-sidedness, and Brodnicka had insult added to injury when she was deducted points for holding in the sixth and seventh rounds. Mayer (14-0, 5 KOs), a Los Angeles native, has other big names on her radar.

Mayer said, “Like {head trainer} Coach Al {Mitchell} said, her holding and her movement was a little tricky for me to catch on to. I still feel like I did win every round. There were definitely some things I could’ve done a little bit better, but ultimately it was a good learning fight.
“I definitely want to unify this division. I don’t want to wait around. I don’t want to take a couple of years to do it. I want to do it right away. So, {WBC champion} Terri Harper told me to get a belt. Eddie Hearn told me to get a belt. I have the WBO belt now, so let’s make that fight happen. I want Terri Harper next.”

In undercard bouts:

Robson Conceicao (15-0, 7 KOs) UD 10 Louie Coria (12-4, 7 KOs). Scores: 95-92 2x and 94-93.

Julian Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs) TKO 3 Jose “Piston” Lopez (29-8-2, 15 KOs),

Jared Anderson (7-0, 7 KOs) TKO 1 Luis Eduardo Pena (6-2, 6 KOs),

Andy Hiraoka (16-0, 11 KOs) TKO 4 Rickey Edwards (12-5, 3 KOs).