IT’S FIGHT WEEK for the title triple-header at the Telford International Arena on Saturday with European super bantamweight champion Jason Cunningham making a second defence of his coveted belt.
The Pied Piper of the Potteries, Nathan ‘The Hitman’ Heaney has again attracted his merry band of followers from Stoke for a tough defence of his IBO International middleweight title and Liverpool firebrand Andrew Cain enters into title action for the first time.
Renaissance Man Cunningham, 32, is the perfect illustration of why losses shouldn’t be allowed to define a fighter. For him, they count as experience rather than adversity.
His 30-6 ledger might look patchy on paper, but the Doncaster man has consistently fought at a high level and now he finds himself on the crest of a six-fight winning streak.
Now with Frank Warren firmly in his corner, he intends on extending his glorious swansong and competing at world level before he even considers calling it a day.
First of all comes a tricky looking defence of his treasured European champion status against the unbeaten 16-0 Frenchman Terry Le Couviour, who should not be underestimated, even if Cunningham himself has not been analysing the form with any great intent.
“I’ve said it over and over again, I don’t really watch too much of my opponents and become obsessed with studying them,” explained the champion. “I watch a couple of rounds and then leave it to my team to devise a plan, then it is down to me to do it on the night.
“I know he is aggressive, probably a bit reckless coming forward, which will work in my favour with my boxing ability. I am just looking to stand out with a good disciplined performance and see if we can get to him later on.
“My confidence is sky high and I am looking to make a statement really.
“I’d say I’m in with a fighter rather than a boxer as he is definitely not going to outbox me. From the clips I have watched he throws a lot of hooks. He is not as tall as me so he is going to have to try and get in close.
“We will see what he brings, I will assess it on the night and take it from there. I will be doing everything in my power to make sure I am ready.”
Heaney, 33, is enjoying a three-fight KO streak and will again be mobilising his loyal army in Telford.
His challenger, Diego Ramirez, has mixed in tough company against opponents with strong records and the Argentinean also has a bit of previous on these shores.
Back in December 2018 he was drafted in to tackle Bradley Skeete for the vacant WBO International welterweight title and the heavily favoured Skeete was downed by a thudding left hook in the second round that ended the fight there and then.
But the 6ft southpaw, 24-6-1, is up against an unbeaten and ambitious champion in Heaney who is looking to keep his show on the road towards a big night in Stoke.
Formidable super bantamweight Cain definitely falls into the category of ‘one to watch’ and it is advisable not to take your eyes off the action as seven out of his eight professional fights have ended in savage stoppages.
Cain was originally scheduled to fight Liam Davies on this card but the Telford native withdrew due to a shoulder injury. He now fights for the vacant WBC International Silver super bantamweight belt against Pablo Ariel Gomez from Argentina.
After suffering early career losses, Gomez is now a form horse and has lost only one of his last 12, winning the South American bantamweight title, the IBF Latino title and the Argentinean title in the process.
He has not been stopped since 2014 so Cain will have to be on his game to add to his KO-count and the snarling Scouser will be looking to put himself to the forefront of the bantam/super bantam conversation, where there are great matches to be made against the likes of Chris Bourke, Marc Leach, Davies, Cunningham or even Dennis McCann at some point.
The product of the renowned Everton Red Triangle Gym was a decorated amateur who is now putting his marker down as a pro and has adopted the mantra of ‘anyone, anytime’ and he means it.
Also featuring on the card is gifted former amateur star Eithan James, the Northampton super lightweight, 7-0, who will be tested by the rough and ready Ben Fields. Fields has a reputation of upsetting the odds when it comes to unbeaten prospects and, in 2019, he removed the tag from four highly-regarded hopefuls in succession.
The 21-year-old James, known as ‘Jammy’, is a former five-times National champion and Commonwealth Youth gold medallist.
Liverpool super bantamweight Brad Strand and Worcester welterweight Owen Cooper are also in action, alongside York’s George Davey and Atherstone’s George Bance, who will both perform at welterweight.
Telford pair, super lightweight Macaulay Owen (2-0, 1 KO) and flyweight Bradley Thompson (3-0) complete the card.