Udofia felt he had done enough to win during British Middleweight title defeat to Bentley

First career pro loss for Lutonian

By Mike Simmonds
Saturday, 21st May 2022, 7:45 am
Linus Udofia lands a punch on Denzel Bentley during their British Middleweight title fight at the O2 Arena
Linus Udofia lands a punch on Denzel Bentley during their British Middleweight title fight at the O2 Arena

Luton boxer Linus Udofia felt he had done enough to be crowned winner during the first pro defeat of his career, losing a split decision to Denzel Bentley for the vacant British Middleweight title at the O2 Arena on Saturday.

Going into the 12-round bout, Udofia had record of 17 successive wins since turning pro in 2016, but was up against an opponent looking to win the belt for the second time in his career.

Udofia started strongly and managed to outbox the former British titleholder for the first few rounds.

It was Bentley who fired back in the third and exchanged for a time, as in round five, he began to come into the contest.

Round seven saw the Battersea fighter pile on the pressure, with Udofia momentarily touching down, although it wasn't called as a knockdown.

Bentley continued to pile on the pressure right up to the final round, and took the fight 115-113 and 116-112 for and 114-115 against.

Speaking to NoSmokeBoxing afterwards, Udofia said: “I’m not really too happy about the decision.

"I think it was fair as it was a close fight, I think I got it, I think I did enough to get it, but it is what it is.

"I’m not going to sit here screaming robbery as it could have gone either way.

"I think I showed a good account of myself, showed I belong at this level, I feel like anyone whose just lost a fight, it is what is is, I’ll be back.

"It's not a loss it’s a lesson, I’ve just got to recoup, go back, lick my wounds and there’s a lot of things we could have done better, but I still think I did enough.

“I think I’ll be back much better, much stronger than this.

"I respect Denzel massively, it's out of my control. It’s time to get back into the gym in a few weeks and get back to winning ways.

"Sometimes a defeat is the best thing that can ever happen to you, especially at this level.

"A defeat isn’t surprising, there’s big fighters here, massive opponents, everyone around this level is a great opponent and a loss doesn’t define my career.

"It will propel me to the best version of myself as I’ve learned so much for from this fight than my other 17.”