The time has finally come for Oldham’s ex amateur stand out Mark Heffron to start beating his drum.
The 25 year old they call ‘Kid Dynamite’ has skated to 17 straight wins as a pro without breaking much of a sweat.
Quick, slick and blessed with a genuine kayo kick, the highly decorated ex junior starlet tells Glynn Evans that he’s bursting to ‘break out’ when he meets iron clad ex Commonwealth challenger Lewis Taylor in a quality middleweight eight rounder at Newcastle’s Metro Arena on Saturday.
You’ve previously been coached by Joe Gallagher, ‘Arnie’ Farnell, Pat Barrett and your manager Kevin Maree. Why the change to Ricky Hatton? What might he add?
I was driving 80 minutes one way to Kevin’s gym in Clitheroe so it was he who suggested I approach Ricky. To be honest, I’ve already got everything that a top boxer needs, I just need reminding to use it.
I’d got to a stage where I was expecting to win every fight by early knockout so was loading up and looking sh**. I was definitely going stale. I wasn’t even nervous in the changing room, minutes before I fought.
Ricky’s really calmed me down and got me using my feints. He’s got me relaxing, using my brain, doing everything off the jab.
Formerly a European schools and junior medallist and a Senior ABA finalist whilst still a teenager, you’ve been a pro for over seven years now but have only had 17 fights (13 stoppage wins, four shut outs). Isn’t it about time you started challenging for the major titles?
Definitely. My pro career has been stop-start but, being truthful, not much of that has been my fault. However, now I’m with Ricky and signed to Frank Warren, everything is falling into place. I’m finally fighting regular. I’ve had six fights in the last 12 months which is exactly what I needed.
Ideally, I want the traditional titles. I was a decent size at 12 stone but I’ll be a proper force at middleweight. Joe Mullender holds the English title, Liam Cameron holds the Commonwealth and Tommy Langford’s got the British. I beat all three on the same night and, given the opportunities, I expect to have all three belts by the end of 2018.
This will be your first pro start before the fanatical north-east fight fans. Does that energise you?
Absolutely. I’ve known all about the fantastic Newcastle fans because my brother Ronnie boxed up there and it was a mint night. I can’t wait to expand my fan club. Lively fans always give you more of a push. I’m looking to deliver a wicked performance and show off my skills.
Saturday’s opponent Lewis Taylor represents a significant step up in class, having lost just four of 24 whilst operating in top class. What do you know of him?
I’m never one for studying my opponent a great deal. I’m happy to leave that stuff to Ricky. Kevin sent me over a clip of Taylor and I watched about two rounds to gather the basics. He’s a tall, stand-up boxer who jabs behind a tight guard. His hands were all over the place. I’ve fought and beaten plenty like him before.
The Dronfield lad has previously lasted the course with quality men like Eamonn O’Kane, Tommy Langford and Jamie Cox. Could you be the first to stop him?
That’s the plan. The stage is set and it’s important that I don’t just win, I make a statement. Hopefully, Lewis will bring out the best in me. I’ve trained for eight solid rounds but I can’t see it going the distance.
I firmly believe I’m the better fighter in every area so we’ll have to see how he turns up. If he tries to get in my face, I’ll not be taking a backward step. We’ll have it!
To my mind, I’m one fight away from fighting for the titles. After this I don’t want any more fights that aren’t for a title.