Nickname Hitman


IN THE MONTHS before the world was forced into inactivity by the pandemic, Nathan Heaney was basking in the online glory resulting from footage of his ring entrance finding its way across the globe.

To the strains of the Tom Jones classic ‘Delilah’, his (mostly) male voice choir from the Potteries serenaded the middleweight as he energetically strutted his way to the ring at the Kings Hall in his native Stoke-on-Trent.

To say the grainy video captured the imagination of the social media community would be an understatement. The next time Heaney, now 33, rocked up at the grand old venue, demand to be there in person had rocketed and this son of Stoke personally sold over 800 tickets – and the video library was duly bolstered in sharper focus.

The trouble was, just as the belting out of ‘Delilah’ was becoming a familiar fighting refrain, Covid-19 struck and boxing was put on pause.

Where would isolation and inactivity leave the developing but still formative fighting story of the charming and popular boxer who enjoys a mutual love with his local football team, Stoke City FC?

“The video changed my life massively,” confessed Heaney. “When it happened at the time I thought it was both amazing and incredible, but then Covid happened and I thought to myself ‘that’s it now, my career is just done’.”

His wheel of fortune then took another turn for the better when the ring walk crooner was saved from the sofa and signed by Frank Warren to fight under the Queensberry banner and perform live on BT Sport.

Tom Jones, Delilah, Stoke City, fan favourite, local boy made good are all part of the story, but what shouldn’t be omitted from the growing narrative is that Nathan Heaney can fight.

Unbeaten in 16 pro fights, Heaney was a late starter in the paid ranks but his business was always boxing. He just made a conscious decision to remain in the amateurs and learn the ropes for longer than is the norm these days.

Now he is closing in on his cherished dream of fighting for the British title on the hallowed turf of his second home at Stoke’s Bet365 Stadium.

So he cannot afford any slip-ups if the best ring walk in boxing is to remain part of British fighting culture for years to come. We might even be at the point where non-boxing fans tune in just for the pre-fight ritual like non-rugby types will watch the All Blacks just to witness the Haka.

“It is pure entertainment value and my walk-on is only good because of the guys who are there,” reasoned Heaney, who recorded victory No.16 in September over Jack Flatley when he was ahead on the cards when a bad cut put an end to the fight.”

On November 17th 2023 Nathan would challenge British Champion and former world title challenger Denzel Bentley over 12 rounds in Manchester. Nathan’s supporters would roar their champion to a 12 round points victory to become Stoke-on-Trent’s first British Middleweight champion.

His story may begin and end with Delilah, but Heaney himself is certainly no one-hit wonder.

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  • born4 April 1989
  • place of birthStoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • residenceStoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
18 November 2023 | AO Arena, Manchester
Bentley vs Heaney

British & WBA Continental Middleweight Championships

Heaney – UD

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