By Terence Dooley
Manchester’s Denton Vassell looks set to defend his Commonwealth welterweight title against Oldham’s unbeaten contender Ronnie Heffron at the Manchester Arena on November 30. The “Someone’s 0 must go” title fight is in the works and would bolster cricketer-cum-boxer Freddie Flintoff’s pro debut bill and will be shown as part of BoxNation’s live coverage.
Vassell, 19-0 (9), won the title by decisoning Lee Purdy in 2010. Successful defences against Bethel Ushona and Samuel Colomban followed in 2011. However, the 28-year-old has had a quiet 12 months, this will be his first bout of the year. Heffron, 11-0 (5), has been relatively busy since turning over in 2009; the 22-year-old is 3-0 (1) in 2012 and out-pointed Peter McDonagh at London’s York Hall on Thursday night to maintain his winning streak.
Bob Shannon trains Vassell; the veteran coach feels that the fighter known as “Quiet Storm” is going to blow Heffron aside come the 30th. “I’m delighted about this fight,” said Shannon when speaking to BoxingScene.
“Denton’s been offered the fight and has said he wants it, so let’s go. Ronnie Heffron is such a good fighter and [his trainer] Anthony [Farnell] is someone I have a lot of respect for, but Denton has been chomping at the bit for this one. People talk about Denton not fighting yet this year — they forget that he’s the type of guy who is in the gym all year working on his boxing skills. Denton’s been hurting sparring partners lately, really hurting them, and he wants to kick on for his family.
“Everyone knows that Denton is a quiet family man, but he is a ferocious man when he gets in the ring now and he knows Ronnie will come to fight. Denton’s my ‘Achilles’, but without the heel — a great warrior who loves to fight. Denton’s always been very laidback. Lately he has been training next to Ricky [Hatton], he has seen Ricky’s mental desire up close and has seen what you need to get to the top of the boxing ladder.
“Working alongside Ricky inspires Denton. Denton’s like a caged tiger because he has seen Ricky working for a big fight so that gets you thinking as a fighter because you want those nights as well. It is great, his focus has come through at the right time because he wants and needs this type of challenge. We have a lot of respect for Ronnie and Anthony, but it this wrong time to meet Denton Vassell.
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