NATHAN HEANEY says he could have sold 2000 tickets for his next fight, with added interest coming once Stoke’s female contingent got wind of Tommy Fury’s involvement.
Stoke-on-Trent’s massive ticket seller is back at Telford International Centre on Saturday June 5 when he meets Bulgarian Iliyan Markov (6-14-2, 3 KOs), live on BT Sport.
COVID restrictions have limited Heaney’s promoters Queensberry on the number of fans allowed into the venue, and just 1000 can attend.
Heaney (11-0, 3 KOs) grabbed 600 tickets and was besieged by supporters who wanted to be at his first fight in front of fans for 15 months.
They will make the 30 mile trip in a convoy of coaches that are leaving from Stoke City’s stadium.
Heaney, 32, who outpointed Ryan Oliver behind closed doors in February revealed “I have sold 600 tickets. I could easily have shifted 1500 tickets and perhaps 2000.
“About 400 women wanted to go when they discovered Tommy Fury was on the bill, but they missed out this time.
“I gave first option to everyone who went to my last fight where fans were allowed. I privately messaged everyone who went to my contest against Christian Schembri last year.
“I let them know a few days before the fight was announced and they put their names down first. The allocation was gone in an instant and I now have a waiting list of 500 people.
“I want to get on Frank Warren’s big shows. I love representing my city and I want to give my Stoke lot some great nights on BT Sport shows.
“On June 5, Frank will see the atmosphere I can bring. I am not even the main feature. Daniel Dubois is the headliner. Tommy Fury will be the main feature. I am a side act.
“Make no mistake on the night you will think I am the headliner. That isn’t my doing, it is those who support me. It is scary how loyal they are.”
When Heaney turned professional in 2017 he immediately adopted Stoke City anthem ‘Delilah’, as his walk out music and admits he wasn’t quite Tom Jones.
But as the ticket sales mushroomed the singing improved and the reception has got more raucous from his fellow Stoke City fans.
Heaney who never misses a home match at the Bet365 stadium said: “This all kicked off from my third fight when I boxed on a Channel 5 card.
“My fight wasn’t screened but during the broadcast all you could hear was my fans singing the Stoke City anthem, Delilah.
“Nobody watching knew the reason why. At the next Stoke City home game a few lads said they wanted to come to the next fight and it has taken off.
“I have always done that walk out even in an empty Kings Hall, but one day knew it could look really, really good and full of Stoke lads
“It has really captured the imagination and it’s the guys that follow me who created it, not me.
“Once there was only about 60 people there and I hadn’t finessed the walk, but I still walked into the hall singing Delilah at the top of my voice.
“By the time I beat Tom Stokes for the Midlands title in my seventh fight it was really taking off and since then it has snowballed.”
Heaney insists fighting at Stoke City’s Bet365 Stadium next summer
NATHAN HEANEY insists fighting at Stoke City’s Bet365 Stadium next summer for the British Middleweight title is more than a dream.
The biggest ticket seller in British boxing believes that signing with Frank Warren makes it a realistic target.
The Stoke-on-Trent hero is back in action at Telford International Centre on Saturday June 5 when he faces Bulgarian Iliyan Markov (6-14-2, 3 KOs), live on BT Sport.
COVID regulations allow just 1000 fans at the show, but Heaney’s allocation of 600 tickets was sold in minutes.
Heaney (11-0, 3 KOs) who lives on the same road as his beloved football team’s ground said: “All the way through my career people have asked me about boxing at the Bet365.
“I didn’t have a major promoter then although I had a great one in BCB, most of their shows are small hall.
“Now I have Frank Warren behind me, people have asked would you have to fight for a World or European title to get a fight there?
“I think there is something special going on in our city and I really believe that if Frank put me in a British title fight it could happen.
“You would need the Queensberry superstars on there to make it a real event, but I really do think the city is going crazy for my fights.
“I want to push for Frank and Queensberry to put on a show at the Bet365 Stadium. I do think it is possible in the Summer of 2022.
“The location is fantastic for getting to and from Liverpool and Manchester. London is only 90 minutes on a train and the atmosphere it could create will be the best boxing atmosphere ever in a football stadium.
“I have to keep winning, moving up the rankings and hopefully get that British title shot.”
Heaney is under no illusions that he must progress and show Warren that he can deliver on a gigantic stage.
As well as his performances adding to his fan base, clips of his walk out to Stoke City anthem Delilah have gone viral.
Nathan, 32, added: “I am realistic and know the score. Felix Cash’s British title winning performance against Denzel Bentley was dangerous.
“If any British Middleweight looked at that and thought; ‘I’m having him next week,’ they’re lying.
“That is why I say next summer for the British title because I can have some good step up fights between now and then. I could have three or even four fights in that time.
“More than anything in the world that is what I want. To be British champion would be amazing.
“I have visions in my head of what the walk out would be. It would be one of the greatest things ever, but I need to speak with Frank about this sort of stuff.
“We will get together soon and see what the plans are.”
Daniel Dubois (15-1, 14KOs) returns to the ring on Saturday June 5 when he takes on Bogdan Dinu (20-2, 16KOs) for the WBA Interim heavyweight title. Light heavyweight favourite Tommy Fury is also in action in his sixth fight as a professional.
WBO ranked number four featherweight, Archie Sharp (19-0, 9 KOs) returns in his first fight under new trainer Alan Smith, while Belfast Middleweight Caoimhin Agyarko (8-0, 5 KOs) will be aiming for his fifth successive inside the distance win. Stoke-on-Trent’s huge popular middleweight Nathan Heaney (11-0, 3 KOs) has his second fight under the Queensberry banner when he meets Bulgarian Iliyan Markov (6-14-2, 3 KOs).
Also on the show are unbeaten English bantamweight champion Liam Davies (8-0, 3 KOs), featherweight Adan Mohamed (1-0) and 18-year-old decorated amateur George Bance, who makes his professional debut after signing with Queensberry.