Today is has been announced that Welterweight prospect and former ABA champion Ronnie “Babe” Heffron faces the toughest test of his professional career to date in a British Welterweight eliminator shot against former British champion David Barnes on the 12th October at the Bowler Exhibition Centre.
The 22 year old Heffron, from Oldham in Manchester, turned professional in December, 2009 on the bill of Amir Khan’s one round blowout of American Dmitriy Salita at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle in a four round contest against trial horse Chris Brophy.
Since then, Heffron has been gradually stepped from four round, to six round and eight round contest and faces his first 10 round contest against the 31 year old Barnes, a two weight British champion at Light Welter and Welterweight, with in the latter division he won the prestigious Lonsdale belt outright.
At a time when Barnes won the Lonsdale belt outright back in 2004, he was regarded as one of the brightest young prospects in British boxing but inactivity saw his stock waver considerably because of it.
Barnes’ record as a professional would give him a clear advantage as favourite, having fought top line domestic Welterweight and Light-Welterweights such as former European champions Ted Bami, whom Barnes defeated on a wide points decision back in March 2008 in a British title fight.
Also, Barnes has defeated Finnish boxer Juho Tolppola back in 2005 in the Braehead Arena in Glasgow in a 10 round contest, Scotsman Kevin McIntyre back in 2003, former Commonwealth champion James Hare and most recently former WBA Light-Welterweight Vivian Harris, against whom he picked up a fifth round technical draw.
Also on the bill, former European Welterweight boss Matthew Hatton is scheduled to make his ring return after losing a wide points decision against Kell Brook earlier this year against an opponent yet to be named.
But it shall be the crossroads match up between the up and coming Heffron and former champion Barnes that tops the bill with Junior Witter, the current holder of the Lonsdale Belt at Welterweight the prize for both men.
Iain Langmaid can be contacted on:
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