Heaney Healed and All Set For Flatley Sequel!
(March 20) Nathan Heaney reports that his dashing good looks are still intact with his facial features having survived a brush with the dome of Jack Flatley back in September.
Heaney (16-0, 6) and Flatley (20-3-1, 4) were approaching the midway point of a fascinating title fight at the Manchester Arena when battle was halted after Heaney was sliced open above the right eye following a heavy clash of heads.
The fight was stopped on medical advice by referee Steve Gray and Stoke favourite Heaney was judged to be leading on all three cards, therefore retaining his IBO International middleweight title.
The Stoke vs Bolton rivalry will now resume at the Telford International Centre on March 25 when the pair will rematch with the WBA Continental title on the line, live on BT Sport.
Despite the severity of the wound, Heaney reveals that the fight night doctor adopted a less is more approach when it came to sewing up the gash.
“To be fair it actually healed, superficially, in about a week,” said the 33-year-old ‘Hitman’. “It was dead weird, it was like it never happened a week later. But, I didn’t get punched on it for at least eight weeks after, when I started sparring again.
“Now it is bang-on.
“He literally put four stitches in and I thought ‘is that it?’ for like a cut of that size. So he put four in and two of them fell out two days later!
“When I saw the surgeon in Stoke, he said the doctor at the fight did great because the less stitches you have, the less tight it is in the seal. If it is too tight, basically the skin dies in the seal where the pressure is too much and it doesn’t heal as well.
“So I was buzzing with that, really,” continued Heaney, who has recently sat down to assess his abbreviated night’s work in Manchester.
“I actually watched it back the other day because I hadn’t watched it for ages. The way I felt the fight was going was I was in complete control and I was picking the pace up going into round five.
“Even the round where the commentators had him winning, if I was being very generous, I’d give it a 10-10. I still thought I was winning it when I watched it back.
“He caught me with a right hand in round three, but just because he caught me with a shot doesn’t mean he was winning it, he just did better than he did in the first two when I was jabbing him.
“The way I saw it, I was controlling all the rounds and then picking the pace up. That is why I was moving more and throwing more combinations, which is what led to the head clash coming because he lunged in while I was moving in and out.
“That is how I felt it was going,” concluded Heaney, who went on to answer whether he feels the sequel will follow a similar pattern.
“I would imagine he has to start at a fast pace, but that is a double edged sword because it is a 10-round fight. Unless he believes he can go in there and stop me within the first five rounds… I don’t think he has got the power to do that.
“That is the only way he could change it, but if he gets to round five by setting a really high pace he has got another five rounds of me sticking the jab in his face and stuff.
“In the first few rounds you are gauging each other and setting a game plan. It wasn’t a terribly exciting first five rounds first time around and the exciting part would have been in that second half.
“Now we’ve got the chance to do it again with the crowd much closer this time because my guys were in the gods last time. I don’t think he felt the atmosphere like he will at this event because ticket sales have gone amazing, as always.
“It is a much tighter arena and it will be very loud in there.”
Nathan Heaney will rematch Jack Flatley with the vacant WBA Continental middleweight title at stake and Andrew Cain will defend his WBC International Silver super bantamweight title against Ionut Baluta at the Telford International Centre on Saturday, 25 March. The night that will also see the return of former European super bantamweight champion Jason Cunningham to the ring.
Also on the card, Raven Chapman will make a first defence of the WBC International featherweight title with The Omen will take on the Czech Lucie Sedlackova.
Heavyweight star of the future Moses Itauma will have his second professional fight over four rounds, while Liverpool super bantam Brad Strand will hit double figures as a pro with an eight-round assignment.
Midlands Area welterweight champion Owen Cooper will be in eight-round action, Telford super lightweight Macaulay Owen will fight over six, with local bantamweight Raheem Muhammad having his third four-rounder.
Ilkeston super welterweight Jimmy Smith will make his professional debut over four rounds.
Nathan Feaney will rematch Jack Flatley with the vacant WBA Continental middleweight title at stake and Andrew Cain will defend his WBC International Silver super bantamweight title against Ionut Baluta at the Telford International Centre on Saturday March 25, live on BT Sport.
The night will also see the return of former European super bantamweight champion Jason Cunningham (31-7, 7) to the ring. The Doncaster man will take on Miguel Gonzalez (33-3, 9) of Chile with the vacant WBO International strap at stake.
Heavyweight star of the future Moses Itauma (1-0, 1) will have his second professional fight over four rounds, while Raven Chapman (5-0, 2) will make a first defence of the WBC International featherweight title with The Omen will take on the Czech Lucie Sedlackova.
Also on the card, Liverpool super bantam Brad Strand (9-0, 3) will hit double figures as a pro with an eight-round assignment.
Midlands Area welterweight champion Owen Cooper (7-0, 2) will also be in eight-round action, Telford super lightweight Macaulay Owen (5-0, 1) will fight over six.
Light Heavyweight Ezra Taylor (4-0, 3) and Super Welterweight Ben Fail are both in action over six rounds.
Natty Ngwenya (1-0, 0) has his second pro outing, the first on a Queensberry show, in a four-rounder while Ilkeston super welterweight Jimmy Smith will make his professional debut, also over four.
Tickets for Heaney vs Flatley and Cain vs Baluta at the Telford International Centre on Saturday March 25 go on sale at 11am on Tuesday January 31 available from Ticketmaster.co.uk.
Baluta Just The Ticket For KO-King Cain!
(February 2nd) Asking Andrew Cain how he is planning to approach his forthcoming collision with Ionut Baluta drew a typically robust – and utterly predictable – response from the WBC International Silver super bantamweight champion.
Tickets are on sale for Cain’s second defence of his treasured green strap, which will take place at the Telford International Centre on Saturday, 25 March on a card that also features the middleweight rematch between Stoke favourite Nathan Heaney and Jack Flatley, the return of Jason Cunningham, Raven Chapman making a first defence of her WBC International featherweight title against the Czech Lucie Sedlackova, and the second pro fight for amateur heavyweight sensation Moses Itauma.
“I reckon he’s getting his head smashed in!” was Cain’s light-hearted opening gambit. “That’s what I reckon, but he is not bad and is my best opponent to date.
“Nobody has stopped him yet so when I get in there and stop I will be making a statement, won’t I?”
The 10-0 Liverpool man acknowledges that Baluta, the former WBO European champion, carries the name recognition that will carry significant credit for inflicting defeat. His recent opposition, while holding strong records, were not widely familiar to the UK boxing market.
However, Cain also brackets Baluta in not being able to withstand his formidable force, although he hopes he lasts longer than the less than three minutes of action across his last two fights.
“To be honest, they have been good boxers, but they were not known and were not clean punchers like me. I don’t believe they punch as hard and as clean as I do. I don’t reckon he is going to stand up to what I’ve got, but if he does I’ll shake his hand after punching him all night.
“I wouldn’t mind a few rounds and this is what I’ve been waiting for. I thought them last fellas was gonna give me some rounds, to be honest, but it worked out different. Maybe this is gonna be the same because I will be punching with the same intentions that I always do.
“I don’t believe anyone can take it as long as I land clean. Sometimes you don’t land clean, but we’ll see. If he takes my best shots right on his chin and takes them, like I say, I will shake his hand and say ‘fair play’.”
Haney and Flatley Set For Telford Rematch!
(January 25th) Nathan Heaney will rematch Jack Flatley with the vacant WBA Continental middleweight title at stake and Andrew Cain will defend his WBC International Silver super bantamweight title against Ionut Baluta when Queensberry make a return to the Telford International Centre on Saturday March 25, live on BT Sport.
Stoke hero Heaney (16-0, 6 KOs) and Bolton man Flatley (20-3-1, 4) shared five rounds of action at the AO Arena in Manchester back in September of last year on the undercard of the Joe Joyce-Joseph Parker heavyweight collision.
What appeared to be a close run affair was aborted in the fifth round on the advice of the doctor following a head clash that left Heaney with a severe cut above his right eye. The fight went to the scorecards and Heaney was judged to have been ahead by all three judges.
Liverpool KO-artist Cain (10-0, 9) won his belt via a first-round stoppage of Pablo Ariel Gomez in Telford last April before defending at York Hall against Luis Moreno with the same outcome. A shoulder injury ruled the 26-year-old out of November action but he is set to go again against his toughest opponent to date in Baluta (15-4, 4), the Romanian based in Bushey.
A winner over Irish world champion and Olympian, TJ Doheny and David Oliver Joyce respectively, Baluta went on to fight a close run thing with Michael Conlan before winning the WBC International title by defeating Brad Foster in May of last year.
He then challenged for the vacant European title against Liam Davies in November, with the Telford man prevailing over 12 rounds.
The night that will also see the return of former European super bantamweight champion Jason Cunningham (31-7, 7) to the ring.
“I am really looking forward to it and I suppose it will be dubbed ‘unfinished business’,” said the 33-year-old Hitman Heaney. “There are questions that need answers, with them thinking they were going to beat me in the last fight and me believing the complete opposite.
“I am training hard and looking forward to being back in Telford with a great crowd,” added Heaney, who explained that his apparent unwillingness over the prospect of a rematch on social media in the days after the original fight was due to a feeling of being railroaded by Flatley’s team.
“No, that is not the case. Once people try to force my hand into doing something I immediately think I want nothing to do with them. It was his second and others popping up saying things and, for me, once that happens, I have zero interest in people.
“But, after speaking to George (Warren) it is an interesting fight and when it is on our terms rather than theirs, that is when I become interested. When people try to force it, it doesn’t interest me at all, but now I am right up for it.”
Former English super welterweight champion and European title challenger Flatley, added: “I’m made up and this fight is what I wanted after how it ended last time. I felt like I was getting into the fight, and it ended like it did, so I am buzzing it has been made again.
“Being honest, it was close, and I thought it was 50-50 when it got stopped. I’m not saying I was in front, but they had him winning every round.
“I didn’t think this fight was going to happen again and I don’t think, deep down, Nathan really wants it. He pretty much said on social media that he wasn’t going to fight me, so I am quite surprised, but made up it is happening.
“I don’t know why he has changed his mind and I feel like he might have been pushed into it, or he might have felt pressured by what’s gone on social media and stuff. I don’t know the reason, but I don’t really believe he fully wants to have the fight.
“I think there could probably be an easier option than me, although I’m not saying I’m a world-beater. I want to beat Nathan and then possibly be looking for a shot at the British title after that.”
The 33-year-old Cunningham’s winning run at the weight was ended by Zolani Tete at Wembley in July of last year and Cunningham now gets back on the title trail with a fight for the vacant WBO Intercontinental super bantamweight championship.
Cunningham was originally set to attempt to reclaim his European title from Liam Davies, but injury to the Telford man means the fight is now subject to delay.
Also on the card, Raven Chapman (5-0, 2) will make a first defence of the WBC International featherweight title she won by defeating Jorgelina Guanini in Manchester back in September. The Omen will take on the Czech Lucie Sedlackova (15-1-1, 6) in Telford.
Heavyweight star of the future Moses Itauma will have his second professional fight over four rounds, while Liverpool super bantam Brad Strand (9-0, 3) will hit double figures as a pro with an eight-round assignment.
“Settling the score with Jack Flatley is the right fight for Nathan Heaney and I think we can expect fireworks on the night,” said promoter Frank Warren. “When you have an unsatisfactory ending for both parties in an entertaining fight it is always best to do a rematch in the hope of a conclusive finish.
“Jack’s and his team will fancy the job, while Nathan needs to maintain his winning streak in order to realise his dream of fighting for a major title at Stoke City FC. This fight will deliver the goods and I am looking forward to the atmosphere created by the best crowd in boxing.
“I think we have got a humdinger of a fight in prospect when Andrew Cain takes on Ionut Baluta. Andrew comes in off two spectacular first round stoppages and if he can stop Baluta it will send shockwaves across the division. I am also excited to see Andrew’s teammate Brad Strand move towards title contention in what will be his 10th fight as a pro.
“Unfortunately, Jason Cunningham’s attempt to regain the European title is delayed due to injury to Liam Davies, but Jason gets the opportunity to put himself firmly back in the mix with a fight for the WBA Continental super bantamweight title.
“Barring any mishaps or injuries on January 28, the fans in Telford will also be treated to seeing the second professional fight of future heavyweight champion Moses Itauma.”
Midlands Area welterweight champion Owen Cooper (7-0, 2) from Worcester will be in eight-round action, Telford super lightweight Macaulay Owen (5-0, 1) will fight over six.
While Natty Ngwenya (1-0) makes his Queensberry bow in a four-rounder, Ilkeston super welterweight Jimmy Smith will make his professional debut over four rounds.
About Frank Warren
In an era spanning over 35 years, Hall of Fame boxing Promoter and Manager Frank Warren has worked with some of the biggest fighters in boxing history. Hamed, Bruno, Tyson, Calzaghe, Benn, Collins, Eubank, Khan and Hatton are some of the iconic names he has promoted during his career.
In 2011 Frank launched the innovative direct to consumer TV model, BoxNation as part of a vision that saw the sports TV market evolving from the traditional reliance on major satellite and cable broadcasters.
Since then BoxNation has gone from strength to strength becoming the UK’s fastest growing independent subscription broadcaster in the process and showcasing the biggest fights from at home and abroad, along the way.
Through Queensberry Promotions and BoxNation, the future of British boxing has never looked in such great shape.
About BT Sport
BT Sport is a group of pay television sports channels provided by BT Consumer; a division of BT Group in the United Kingdom and Ireland that was launched on 1 August 2013. The channels are based at the former International Broadcast Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.