Shropshire Star

Tyler Denny may have to travel for more big boxing nights

The Black Country has a new boxing sensation, and he may have already outgrown the region’s biggest venues.


Tyler Denny, who was born and raised in Rowley Regis, became the European Middleweight Champion when he beat Italy’s Matteo Signani at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall last month.

And with some of the sport’s biggest names competing in Denny’s weight class the 32-year-old is ready to take his career to the next level, be that in the West Midlands or not.

“The only problem with Wolverhampton is I don’t think it’s going to be big enough,” Denny admitted. “Maybe we’ll have to go back to Resorts World in Birmingham, I’ve fought in Wembley, Manchester, Sheffield, but there’s nothing like that home crowd man, I loved it.”

He continued: “There were arguments about trying to get more tickets, but if we keep selling shows out we’ll keep coming back (to the Halls.)

“I fought there years ago but it was nothing like it is now, they’ve properly done it up and put an extra tier in, and because it was a Sky (Sports) show the production was ten times what it was before.

“It was unreal, the atmosphere was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and for me it was one of those pinch yourself moments, and hopefully we can be back there next year.”

His victory at the Halls felt almost inevitable.

In front of his adoring home fans, with the European title on the line, Denny went into the fight feeling invincible.

His post-fight call of ‘We’m Black Country ay we’ had every single person on their feet, and personified the love that they have for him.

Although when asked about the potential of headlining a card at Molineux, Denny, a Newcastle United fan, remained coy.

“Maybe, but because I’m not a football fan from local I still get Albion fans supporting me, whereas if I was a massive Wolves fan they might not come to Molineux just for that,” he said. “It’d be great wouldn’t it, we’re at Bescot now and I’m not even sure this would be quite big enough.”

The region is enjoying something of a golden generation when it comes to combat sports athletes.

Birmingham’s Leon Edwards is the current UFC welterweight champion, while Jai Herbert has put Wolverhampton on the map with his performances in the UFC lightweight division.

Denny is not the only boxing star from the West Midlands either, with 2020 Olympic silver medallist Ben Whittaker boasting a 4-0 professional record at light-heavyweight.

And when asked about the new wave of talent, Denny could not hide his pride at the success of his fellow Black Country scrappers.

Denny said: “We’ve always had talent really; I just think it’s come at different times.

“If you look back we’ve always had talent, but now there’s so much all at the same time,” he added. “There’s loads of good fighters, and it’s good having people who can sell tickets as well.”

As of now though, Denny is the only West Midlands boxer with gold around his waist.

His victory over Signani in November came in unusual fashion, although the hometown hero would likely have ensured victory sooner rather than later anyway.

As round eight approached, Denny’s opponent, his corner and the ringside doctor continued to work on a cut the Italian received in round seven.

Tyler Denny

And with the Wolverhampton crowd growing ever frustrated, referee Philippe Wouters was left with no choice but to call the fight off and crown Denny as the European middleweight champion.

“I’ve never won a fight in that way,” the 32-year-old admitted. “I don’t think his corner wanted to carry on, I don’t think he wanted to carry on.”

Denny added: “The stall was still in the corner, they never even took it out, he wasn’t showing any enthusiasm to carry on, so the ref had no choice really.

“I’d have liked to carry on and kept on punching him, but it was out of my hands.

“I want to win by any means necessary, so I was happy just to get it done.”

Denny also questioned the resolve of his opponent, suggesting the home advantage should not have played as big a part as it did.

“As a fighter you’ve got to have a bit more instinct about you, but maybe he got that beaten out of him,” he said. “Recently I fought in Manchester against Brad Rea, and he’s from Manchester, I’ve been in the away corner plenty of times and that’s never gone through my head.”

After such a positive year for Denny there is only one natural step to take as 2024 approaches – a shot at a world title.

And for the 32-year-old, who has taken the long way round to get to the top, the one-time unthinkable dream is looking like an ever increasing possibility.

“I’ll fight anyone they tell me to; I don’t say no to a fight, and I never will,” he said. “If it’s for a world title that’s even better, but I think I’ve got to defend my European Title first.”

Denny added: “Say a name, just tell me the date and I’m there.

“If I can defend that belt early then who knows, hopefully I can get a world title by the end of next year.

“That’s all that is left for me to do really, I know it might have sounded unrealistic a few years ago but now it’s a big factor.

“If someone in the top 15 picks me as a voluntary then who knows, we’ll see what happens.”