Unbeaten middleweight prospect Nathan Wheatley (8-0) gets back to business just six weeks after his last fight
Warrington’s Wheatley will back in the ring on May 12 at the BT Convention Centre in Liverpool, seeking his ninth straight win on a talent-packed VIP Promotions show.
It was only a few weeks prior on March 31 when the 29-year-old middleweight defeated Casey Blair (4-38) at the Preston Guild Hall to extend his winning record to eight in eight.
The Easter Saturday bout was his first appearance in the square ring for over a year, following rehabilitation on a shoulder injury, and first fight with new trainer Matthew Hatton in the corner.
An ongoing, deteriorating shoulder injury, initially triggered during a sparring session back in 2015, forced Wheatley to withdraw from a Central Area middleweight championship contest last May at Manchester’s Bowlers Arena, and required the undefeated prospect to take time out to have extensive physio treatment.
His last fight was on the undercard of Anthony Crolla’s rematch with Jorge Linares at the Manchester Arena in March last year, eventually returning over a year later on the undercard of Liam Conroy’s second successful English light-heavyweight title defence to challenger Miles Shinkwin, live on Box Nation TV, last Easter weekend.
“The Wire” comfortably won all four rounds against “The Kid’ Casey Blair, 38 from Northern Ireland to move up to 8-0.
He spoke excitedly about being back in action again so soon, “Looking forward to getting back out again, the last fight didn’t take too much out of me so I’m ready to go again!”
The former Bridgefoot ABC student initially turned pro under the guidance of Oliver Harrison after he was inspired by former teammate Martin Murray to join the thriving gym, but they parted ways, amicably, after just two fights together.
He then joined Kieran Farrell’s stable, who guided him towards a Central Area title shot, which he grudgingly forfeited through injury.
He now aims to return to the Central Area title mix with former European champion and world title contender, Matt Hatton, as his trainer.
“It’s good to be back in the ring with two working arms” laughed Wheatley. “The ring rust is dusted off now, I’m just looking to keep wining and learning, and Matt will get me the right fights at the right time.”
Promoter Steve Wood’s event on the 132nd day of the year is topped by Ben Wager (13-9-1) and Steve Brogan (11-1-2) in a cracking Central Area lightweight title clash.
Defending champion, Wager, 27 from Barnsley, will fight to retain the title he won on his third attempt against undefeated Danny Holmes (5-0) last October at the Barnsley Metrodome. His previous challenges were thwarted by Kofi Yates (11-1) and Ryan Mulcahy (8-0), respectively, at the weight above – super-lightweight.
Lancashire lightweight, Steve Brogan, a British Challenge belt winner, had a disastrous 2017, drawing twice with Henry Janes (10-20) before falling to a first career defeat to Lee Appleyard (11-3) in an English lightweight championship contest last July, but finished the year with a points win over Ibrar Riyaz (6-128-4) to set up this Central Area title shot.
The undercard features a whole host of undefeated talents in action, including cruiserweights Mike McKay (1-0) and Nathan Quarless (1-0); super-lightweights Tom McGuinness (5-0) and Nathan Bennett (2-0); Isle of Man’s Danny Roberts (1-0); featherweight Sean Cairns (2-0); Liverpool super-bantamweight Marcel Braithwaite (6-0); and super-lightweight Colin “Boom Boom” Day (4-1), looking to bounce back from defeat.