Updated: Jul 12
Nathan Bennett will face Kane Gardner for the vacant Central Area Super-Lightweight title at Liverpool Olympia on Friday September 3.
It will be ﬁrst VIP Boxing event since March 2020 and with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted the ﬁrst of six shows they are staging inside four weeks.
The ten rounder between the VIP stablemates promises to be one of the best British small hall ﬁghts of 2021.
Bennett will have home advantage and with Gardner hailing from Manchester even more spice has been added to what promises to be a ﬁery battle.
Bennett (9-2, 2 KOs) has been sidelined since last August when he was stopped in ﬁve rounds by world class prospect Dalton Smith.
Bennett, 28, said: “We were meant to ﬁght last year, but the pandemic came and I got the Dalton Smith ﬁght which has worked out better for me than Kane.
“He has been inactive. I boxed a few days before lockdown and then I had the Dalton ﬁght.
“People who know boxing understand this is a good ﬁght, a good solid 50-50 ﬁght.
“Kane is a good ﬁghter, has good jab, comes forward and I am expecting a tough ﬁght, but I will be ready.”
And the local man who will be boxing at the Olympia for the sixth time as a professional added: “The Liverpool-Manchester rivalry makes it exciting and it will be hostile for him.
“My phone has blown up for tickets. I don’t know how many he is bringing, but there will be loads there for me.
“We have always been on a collision course to ﬁght and now it is coming.”
Gardner insists making the trip along the M62 doesn’t bother him and said: “I boxed in Liverpool a few times as an amateur.
“I said to Steve Wood I will even have it in his back yard. It will be hostile because I believe there will be kids from his gym ﬁghting as well.
“My lot will be there and rowdy so it’s going to be a good night.”
Bennett suﬀered a broken jaw when he faced Smith last summer and the only other man to defeat him is dangerous Ben Fields. He dropped a points decision against him in October 2019.
Gardner who lives in the Clayton area of Manchester, outpointed Fields in May 2019, but lost a rematch two weeks later when a ﬁrst round knockdown proved costly.
Gardner (11-1, 6KOs) who last fought when outpointing Jordan Ellison in December 2019 added: “Nathan is good, but I just believe I am levels above.
“We have boxed some of the same kids, but he has gone through the motions. I’ve made statements and stopped them.
“I am a better ﬁghter and I can’t wait to showcase that. I believe with my work rate and ferociousness that I will get to him.”
VIP Boxing head Steve Wood says: “I was surprised that both boys wanted to jump straight into the ﬁght after lockdown. I thought they would both want a warm-up.
“Nobody I have spoken to can conﬁdently pick a winner and it’s a scrap that will live up to expectations.
“The undercard features some serious VIP Boxing prospects who I expect to become regular TV ﬁghters.”
More ﬁghts will be added, but among those on the undercard Tom Aitchison (3-0), Marcos Molloy (2-0), Nathan Quarless (7-0) and Mathew Rennie (5-0-1).
Tickets: Ringside £70, Floor £50, Lower Balcony £40 and Upper Balcony £35. Available from vipboxing.co.uk and 01942 874241.