Chatham’s Grant Dennis is a natural born fighting man from a long fighting dynasty. Grandad George boxed in the Navy, dad Joe was a useful amateur and junior sibling Jordan is undefeated in four as a pro Super-Middle.
Once Southern Area Champ and an English Title challenger, father of five Grant concedes he first learnt to ruck long before boxing gloves were first laced on his dukes, aged 15.
"I was a rough and tumble kid and I’ve always been okay at throwing my fists around," says the ‘Go Getter’ who at 35 is the oldest and most seasoned entrant in the Ultimate Boxxer III shootout at Indigo at The O2 on May 10th.
"Chatham’s a rough old dockyard and you didn’t need to look too far if you fancied a scrap. For a start, I’d never tolerate racial abuse or anyone taking the p*** out of me.
"Then, when I was about 15 and weighing 104 kilos (16st 5lbs), a bloke flogging videos knocked on my door and he convinced me to visit the boxing gym and it all started from there.
"I once boxed (future British, Commonwealth and European Champion) David Price at Heavyweight in the Junior ABAs but struggled to get bouts because of my size and had to ease off once I became a father at 17."
Though granite Grant had already blown out 30 candles when he entered the profession in July 2014, he refused to allow age to constrict his ambitions.
"‘Go Getter’ is as much a motto as a nickname," declares 5ft 11in Grant, who previously produced garage and hip-hop at the ‘Go Getter’ studios.
"I’ve never regarded age as a barrier and it’s still my intention to get to the very pinnacle. I’ve got great genetics. My dads’s 83 but looks just 60. My prime is now. I’m fitter, stronger, run quicker than I ever have and I’ve a youthful mindset."
Despite limited amateur breeding, Dennis darted to the Area Title in his seventh start, outscoring local southpaw Nicky Jenman – sole conqueror of UB3 rival Tey-Lynn Jones – at the Brighton Metropole.
The solitary stain on his slate came when Watford’s Elliott Matthews (then unbeaten in 20) edged him out over 10 for the vacant English crown 17 months ago.
"Elliott refused to engage but, after a cagey start, I completely took over and saw it 97-94 my way, as did many others. In my head, my record reads 13-0," insists Grant who is coached by Veron Quammie at the Champs Gym in Gillingham.
"My experience possibly gives me an edge but I prefer to start every fight with a fresh slate. I don’t look back on what I’ve done, just what I intend to do.
"Even in 10 rounders, I maintain a very high pace so it won’t be hard to drop back down. I’ve always been able to throw what I need, for as long as I’ve needed."
Last time out, the Joe Elfidh managed hope became only the fourth fighter to halt hardman Harry Matthews – flattening the Tyke for the full count with a single meaty right hand with just 48 seconds on the clock. It was just the second stoppage win of his career.
"Forget what my record suggests, I know I’m a big puncher. I just prefer to box clever," he claims.
"I consider myself a chameleon. Whatever my opponent is good at, I can take away from them. In this format, guys will try to throw the kitchen sink but that’ll just leave openings. I’m a slickster, a mover, a puncher. I win because my boxing IQ is so much higher than all the other guys."
Dennis seems unperturbed that he has been drawn first-up against Clacton clatter Joe Hurn, statistically the most dangerous puncher in the field.
"No one wants to take an open shot but Joe and I both know he’ll not outbox me or out think me so he has to come out swinging and I welcome that," he concludes.
"Victory here will vault me straight into title fights with Liam Williams (reigning British Champ) and Felix Cash (Commonwealth king).
"Fans should keep an eye out for me because I’m the quickest, most explosive……and the prettiest!"