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Home favourite Nathan Heaney will top the bill when professional boxing returns to Stoke-on-Trent in March.

By Dan Mole

Home favourite Nathan Heaney will top the bill when professional boxing returns to Stoke-on-Trent in March.

 

‘The Hitman,’ who is the reigning Midlands middleweight champion, headlines as he looks to add the IBO Continental Middleweight Title to his already impressive CV.

 

He will lead the way as part of BCB Promotions’ first offering in the city for 2020, which will take place at the King’s Hall on Friday March 13.

 

Unbeaten Heaney will be looking to make it a perfect 10 in the pro ranks, having raced to nine victories from nine outings with three TKOs along the way.

 

His last stoppage came with the BT Sport cameras rolling, halting Nelson Altamirano in the fifth of six scheduled rounds.

 

That completed a busy 2019 where he was in action four times, including outpointing Tom Stokes for the vacant area crown.

 

Serge Ambomo and Daniel Urbanski, the former a 2012 Olympian and the latter a one-time foe of Gennady Golovkin, were all seen off over the distance.

 

They went 10 and eight rounds respectively, adding to 2018 victories against Martin Kabrhel and Sean Gorman, by TKO, and points wins over Patryk Buzcek and Emmanuel Moussinga.

 

Heaney, now aged 30, debuted in late 2017 with a points whitewash over Darryl Sharp, after a stellar amateur career with South Staffs Boxing Club, who he represented in 90 fights.

 

Three fellow paid pugilists from Stoke feature on the under-card with Kieron McLaren, Cole Johnson and Atal Khan all set to occupy the home corner.

 

McLaren is the most experienced, having racked up 12 victories from 14 pro affairs, before taking on Lee Appleyard, who he pushed to a 95-95 draw after 10 rounds.

 

His one and only defeat then came to Maxi Hughes, in what was an eliminator for English lightweight honours, by fourth round stoppage.

 

Johnson is another part of the lightweight division and has notched five points successes so far, having taken every round along the way.

 

Simas Volosinas, Reynaldo Cajina, Dean Evans, Ibrar Riyaz and Dean Jones have been vanquished by Johnson, who is in his third year as a pro.

 

He previously became a national titleist as an amateur, claiming England Senior Development honours in 2017.

 

Southpaw Khan is a super lightweight who has his hand raised twice so far, as a pro, remaining unbeaten with no rounds lost going toe-to-toe with Riyaz and Matt ‘MJ’ Hall.

 

He got his amateur grounding with the Impact Boxing and later Orme Boxing Clubs, racking up 28 victories from 42 unpaid contests.

 

Johnson and Khan are both graduates from the Orme gym as is Luke Caci, who will reach double figures when he steps through the ropes for a 10th time in the pro code.

 

Caci, a light heavyweight from nearby Newcastle-under-Lyme, is still undefeated with nine wins and one TKO, halting Bryn Wain in the fifth of six rounds.

 

Making the trip from across the Midlands are Connor Parker and Leon Gower, who are from Woodville in Derbyshire and Burton-on-Trent respectively.

 

Parker is looking to bounce back from a first pro defeat, with Sam Maxwell taking his ‘0’ through a seventh round stoppage for the WBO European super lightweight bauble.

 

He can redress the balance with a 13th pro success, the most notable of which saw him become Midlands champion at the expense of Kevin Hooper.

 

The left-hander upset the odds to force the retirement of the experienced Hooper, a former Midlands and English titleist, at the end of the fifth round during their 2018 meeting.

 

Gower came up short in his attempt at area glory that year with his nemesis, Brad Foster, going on to win British and Commonwealth super bantamweight belts.

 

He now returns, after missing all of 2019, with a desire to quickly build upon his six wins, with three TKOs already in the bag.