‘Bannergate’ row flares between boxing friends

Out to make a point: Reagan Denton wants to take the Central Area title off old pal Carl Wild, below.    Picture: Steve parkin
Out to make a point: Reagan Denton wants to take the Central Area title off old pal Carl Wild, below. Picture: Steve parkin
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A SHEFFIELD boxer has challenged one of his oldest friends to a fight saying: “I am going to rip your new title belt off you.”

Reagan Denton wants to challenge his old gym-partner Carl Wild, who won the Central Area title at light heavyweight on March 9.

At the heart of the challenge is an ugly spat between Denton and his former mentor Glyn Rhodes, who trains Wild at Sheffield Boxing Centre, (SBC) in Hillsborough.

Denton, aged 33, says the pair fell out when the Manor boxer made a remark in The Star about a previous Wild fight in which Wild was TKO’d. His reported view on the matter didn’t go down well with Rhodes.

“Some time after that, Glyn arrived at a gym in Pitsmoor I’d been helping run and took down an SBC banner sign that I was proud of,” said Denton.

“It was his sign, but that’s not the point. I was the first SBC boxer to graduate from amateur to professional under Glyn and grew up with Carl. I was proud of the sign. Glyn took it back because he was angry I’d told the truth in The Star and now I want to rip away the title that Carl has won in the same way that sign was ripped away from me. It’s nothing personal against Carl, he’s a nice kid, it’s just business - and the fact I want to make a point.”

Denton, now trained by ex-world champ Clinton Woods, in Westfield, is fighting Doncaster’s James Tucker on April 14, the man Wild beat for the title. Then Denton says a local promoter like Dennis Hobson will organise the challenge against Wild.

Rhodes gives a different version of ‘Bannergate.’ He says he retrieved the banner because the local council had contacted him as SBC owner “about rates owed at the gym” at Earsham Street.

“That place had nothing to do with me so I thought it was wise to get my sign back so there was no misunderstanding that the place was mine when it wasn’t. As for a Summer fight between Carl and Reagan, that’s news to me other than some stuff written on Facebook. If someone is going to take on my fighter, I ought to find out about it through proper channels not Facebook. It would be a good derby, though. But whether it will happen or not remains to be seen.”

Another proposed derby, Liam Cameron v Jez Wilson, due to be held at Don Valley on the April 14 bill, has been called off. Middeweight Cameron said: “I heard Jez is retiring and I was also expecting (Castleford’s) Luke Robinson but it’s not on and they can’t get me an opponent.”