The man behind Dehood, Reagan (Dynamite) Denton
The man behind Dehood, Reagan (Dynamite) Denton
It could be argued that ‘De Hood’ and Reagan Denton are one and the same thing. De Hood is a way of life that Reagan lives by and that way of life became the basis for De Hood. It wasn’t always this way; in fact before the ‘De Hood’ experience Reagan’s lifestyle was unsustainable and volatile.
Reagan was the youngest and smallest of the big Denton family, and being a young lad with good looks and curly permed hair, would often get into fights. After a particularly nasty beating received for defending the honour of one of his female friends, Reagan resolved to take action, shaving off his hair and joining the Bowling Green Boxing Club on The Manor. It was a pretty decrepit looking place for a young star to train, with it’s asbestos roof and concrete walls. The gloves were kept in a tin, and during the winter the sweat in the gloves would freeze, meaning twenty minutes thawing would occur before any practice could. There were three old bags and a home made ring, but the Bowling Green was made by it’s decent owners who encouraged Reagan to train, which he did daily for three months. The next time he was faced with the bully who beat him before, it was Reagan dishing out punishment and realising that he had true talent as a boxer.
He continued with his training and eventually Glyn Rhodes MBE, took him under his wing. To this day Reagan maintains that this encounter was the best thing that ever happened to him, still holding the same tremendous respect for him as he did back then, and holding him in honour as one of the most honest and straight forward man in the boxing fraternity. Despite still being a novice, Glyn had faith in Reagan and disregarding the nay-sayers, entered Reagan into the English school-boy championship. He worked his way through four competitors to fight in the final in Stoke. The fifth and final fight was to Graham Earl, a much more experienced boxer on his 45th fight of his career. Reagan lost to Graham, who later went on to become British and Commonwealth lightweight champion, but the fight Reagan had displayed was more than enough to validate Glyn’s faith.
From there on, Reagan’s life was set for new tracks. He went to Miami with Herol “Bomber” Graham, where he met Lennox Lewis and a host of celebrities. He hit the headlines of the Daily Star when he gave Lennox Lewis’ minder a black eye, and still in his teen years went with Naz (Prince Naseem) to Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Reagan accompanied Naz in his fight with Marco Barrera, and after Naz’s defeat, Reagan would go on to say:
“Naz was the best of them all and would have won easily if he had trained and kept his weight down. Anyway, after the fight, he went off with Michael Jackson to Neverland so I came back to the Manor”.
Back in Sheffield, Reagan had become a celebrity. Though he still lived on the Manor, he was driving a Porsche and wearing £50,000 wrist-watches. Hidden amongst the glamour, he also began to drink, take drugs, and live the high life in such an unsustainable manner that it would ultimately lead to his imprisonment. On his 30th birthday, shortly before taking his girlfriend to Spain to see Mark Lamarr in concert, Reagan was arrested for breaking the conditions of an ASBO. Whilst his girlfriend took her friend to the concert instead, Reagan spent the night – and the following few years, in prison.
Upon his release, it wasn’t long before Reagan had regained his boxing licence, eager to pick up where he left off. Without any training, his first fight put him against the up and coming Courtney Owen (watch here) who was not only a stone heavier, but three inches taller than him. In just 77 seconds, Reagan had won via KO. He went on to win six more bouts, until he was offered a European Title fight that he would have accepted, were it not for seeing some kids throwing dog faeces at passing cars…
The new Reagan is a man who has seen both sides of life and knows not only where his life went off the tracks, but also why. He does not want to see anyone else fall for the same pitfalls as he did, and now he sees it as his mission in life to help improve the lives of his neighbours. |Reagan believes this to be the destiny that fate had in store for him, that he had always been intended for this purpose, and even if he doesn’t know where this inspiration came from, it is clearly working.
It is no chance encounter that Reagan met his partner Laura at the same time as he was forming De Hood. It’s clear to him that without her guidance and support, it’s questionable if De Hood would have ever risen to it’s current level. Whilst Reagan can at times be brash, rushing into things headlong, Laura is his polar opposite. Astute, empathetic and intelligent, combined with ferocity, tenacity and heart, they make a most formidable and balanced team.
Years ago, Reagan turned down the opportunity to fight for the European title. Though he has not trained professionally since that day, he knows that if given the chance, he would win this title on behalf of De Hood, and now De Hood as well as the whole of South Yorkshire are looking for this fight to be arranged.