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Nathan Heaney remembers the only time he’s been outclassed

Nathan Heaney
Andrew Fairley talks to Nathan Heaney, a man who sympathised with E.T.

When and why you started boxing:
My dad got me into boxing at nine years old. He was a former boxer himself and he wanted me to be able to look after myself.

Favourite all-time fighter:
Growing up it was Joe Calzaghe. He was just a brilliant fighter. More recently I’ve gone old school with Julio Cesar Chavez. How he broke down his opponents so economically was amazing. He was fantastic defensively too.

Best fight you’ve seen:
It’s got to be the first Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward fight. The commentary alongside it from Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and Emanuel Steward was the icing on the cake.

Personal career highlight:
Signing with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.

Toughest opponent:
The only time I remember being totally outclassed was in the Junior ABAs when I boxed a lad from Lions ABC called James Fisher. Man, that lad could box! I learned a lot from the schooling he gave me and it never happened to me again.

Best and worst attributes as a boxer:
My strengths are my footwork, hand speed and shot selection. I used to get involved in scraps in the ring, but I’ve learned to control that a lot as a professional.

Training tip:
Be consistent with what you do and build up that aerobic engine. Interval training is important, but it’d be a big mistake to neglect your steady-state roadwork.

Favourite meal/restaurant:
A lamb pasanda curry at the Blue Tiffin in Stoke-on-Trent. That place is special!

Best friends in boxing:
My teammates, Luke Caci, Cole Johnson and Atal Khan. Another very good friend is my coach, Steve Woodvine.

Other sportsman you would like to be:
A professional footballer. Get me on the wing for Stoke City!

Last film/TV show you saw:
Gangs of London. Gruesome stuff!

Who would play you in a film of your life:
Jim Carrey.

Have you ever been starstruck:
I once sparred Frankie Gavin years ago in preparation for the ABAs when I was boxing for Rotunda ABC in Liverpool. He was an idol of mine.

Last time you cried:
Watching E.T. He just wanted to get home!

Best advice received:
If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

Worst rumour about yourself:
I haven’t got a clue. I’m sure there must be something!

Something not many people know about you:
I’m a sports teacher at Stafford College.

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