Unbeaten Middleweight Nathan Heaney (10-0, 2KO) prepares to return to the ring this Saturday night as he matches up against Ryan Oliver (7-2, 1KO) live on BT Sport.
The Stoke-on-Trent native will end a near year-long layoff from the squared circle and will also be fighting under the Queensbury banner for the first time, an opportunity that he is keen to sink his teeth into.
“Originally, there were whispers in 2019 when I boxed on the Birmingham arena show that they wanted to sign me. So, when I boxed there, I brought hundreds of fans down with me and I thought I’ve got to be signed because we took over the place and there were world and British champions on there and they had nowhere near the support. It got to early 2020 and I fought for the Intercontinental and the atmosphere was bloody brilliant, my place was sold out.”
Heaney admitted that he didn’t think the signing was going to come after all.
“Then lockdown happened in March and I thought it wasn’t going to happen and then two weeks into lockdown I got my contract, and it was absolutely mint, so I had an idea for a while that they wanted to, and they must have been waiting because they signed quite a few from around the North and Midlands at the same time so they were patient with it.”
Heaney joins Queensberry Promotions
After a near year-long absence, Heaney stated that time has flown by during his time away.
“It has been strange in the sense of it feels like the last fight was two months ago, time has absolutely flown by so in terms of performance and the atmosphere and everything it’s very surreal. It doesn’t even feel like that layoff has happened so, I don’t think it’s going to affect me at all, I won’t be thinking like it’s been a year since I last fought it genuinely feels like it was two or three months ago so it’s weird.”
For Heaney fighting on a nationally televised event is a big moment and a huge stage to impress.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I had a good time slot on that Birmingham show before, but I was a float, the opponent wasn’t great, and I wasn’t one of Frank Warrens top fighters, whereas this time it’s a lot different. It’s strange because when you mention Twitter and stuff and all these fighters and stuff it’s weird that people are putting my name with these fighters and now my names a top name on there now.”
Heaney will be without his lively and loyal supporters for the contest which he admits will be a loss.
“It’s going to be a massive loss because they do play a role in your performances in the sense of when you’re tired and you can hear them chanting you on it gives you a second burst. On the flip side, when they go quite you think am I doing the right thing here? So, it’s going to be a weird one, but I think the main thing is it won’t be enjoyable, there’s no better feeling than walking out to 1,000 people cheering you on and singing Delilah, it’s just special so to not have that is going to be gutting but, it is what it is. I’m going to get the win and move on to next time and hopefully, everything will be sorted and the fans can be back.”
The Hitman went viral for the atmosphere his fans made during his entrance to his last contest, but he wants to prove he’s more than a novelty act.
“If people know me, they’ll predominantly know me through that entrance and it’s now time for me to prove that I am a fighter. I mean, I’ve been doing it bloody twenty years now so I’m just grateful that I’ve gotten the opportunity to prove it now.”
The 30-year-old is anticipating a great and exciting fight against Oliver.
“I think we’ll see how my jab works and I think I’ll be able to land some good shots just like he’ll be able to land good shots if I do the wrong things. If I can land clean you never know what could happen but I think it’ll be a good exciting contest and I think one of us will get caught, who that is I’m not too sure, I’m hoping it’s me that catches him. I think it’ll be whoever establishes the jab first but I’m feeling good for it, but I won’t make a prediction for it.”
Heaney acknowledges his loyal, passionate supporters
For Heaney, the next step if he wins on the weekend isn’t certain but his overall goal is to challenge for the coveted British title.