By Terence Dooley
Oldham's welterweight prospect Ronnie Heffron will take on former British light-welter and welterweight champion David Barnes at Salford's Bowlers Exhibition Centre on October 12 in a classic crossroads meeting of youth and experience. Dave Coldwell of Coldwell Boxing confirmed the news to BoxingScene earlier this evening and has revealed that the contest will take place over ten three-minute rounds.
Heffron, 10-0 (5), had been pencilled in for a British title eliminator with Liverpool's Liam Smith, but will now have to prepare himself for Barnes, 25-2-2 (11), who, despite periods of inactivity, can still frustrate people with his southpaw skills and has title experience. The Manchester-based former champion first won the British welterweight belt in 2003 courtesy of a close, disputed decision over Jimmy Vincent. A Commonwealth title reverse to Joshua Okine in June 2005 left Barnes's career in limbo until 2008, when he popped up with a win over Ted Bami for the British 140lb title, which he never lost in the ring and successfully defended against Scotland's Barry Morrison.
A Prizefighter: The Light-Welterweights loss to Colin Lynes in 2009 led to another period of inactivity only for Barnes, 31, to return with a victory over Iscaac Quartey last November. A fifth-round technical draw with Vivian Harris following a clash of heads put paid to their March meeting and left Barnes on the shelf for a few more months, but the former champion now has a chance to get himself back in the mix.
Heffron, 22, has eased through his apprenticeship and now faces a test of his credentials against a man who is mercurial and talented enough to spring an upset if the Oldham hopeful is not at the top of his game.
Visit http://www.coldwellboxing.com/ for ticket and information.