MARK HEFFRON BELIEVES his hugely anticipated showdown with Denzel Bentley will develop into the shootout everyone expects, but reckons a few cagey rounds could precede the firefight.
The middleweight bangers collide inside the BT Studio on Saturday night – live coverage begins on BT Sport 1 from 7.30pm – and the 25-1 Heffron was forthright in his initial assessment of how the fight will go against the unbeaten Bentley, 13-0.
“I’m gonna demolish him!” was his opening gambit.
“I don’t even know how it will play out… It could be a bit of a chess match at first but after a few rounds it will get lively.
“I don’t think he is the best of boxers, to be honest, and he was all over the place when Mick Hall put it on him. I think the only thing he can do is come forward, basically.
“I don’t think he has been hit before, but I have definitely got to be smart in what I do.
“This will get me right back on track, get a good win over Denzel and it should put me forward for big titles. I 100 per cent still want the British. Hopefully, after beating Denzel, I will be fighting for the British in December.”
The 28-year-old Heffron has resisted a recently stated intention to move up to super middleweight and has instead been going over some old ground in the gym with the only man to have beaten him as a pro. What he doesn’t intend to do, unlike against Liam Williams, is engage in any verbal warfare with Bentley because this really is a fight that speaks for itself.
“I have sorted my diet our properly now and my weight has come down by itself. It is almost bang-on already.
“We had a good spar, me and Liam, but I didn’t chin him and we did eight rounds. In one of the rounds they had to stop it and tell us both to calm down a bit.
“I’m just going to keep myself to myself and do my thing in the ring. I did call him a silly sausage once but I’ve got no hard feelings towards Denzel and he has not said anything bad about me.
“He seems like a nice lad but, obviously, this is business and he is in my way,” added the Oldham man, who is fully embracing the prospect of fighting without his army of fans urging him on.
“I am ready for all the new stuff and I am looking forward to just chilling out in the hotel. I think fighting behind closed doors might be better for me because when all the crowd are going mad you are not as focused.
“This time you will see the best of me even though I would have done hundreds of tickets for this one. This camp has actually been a lot easier with not messing around so much sorting out tickets.”
Without having to cater for the ticketing demands of the Oldham public, Heffron has been able to settle into a routine with his latest trainer in Michael Jennings, the former British welterweight champion and world title challenger.
“I’ve had a few, haven’t I…” conceded Heffron on his multiple moves.
“Obviously I am happy now 100 per cent and this is me now with Michael. I am buzzing with him and I have learned so much over the last seven or eight weeks. I am just ready now to go and I can’t wait.
“For this fight, with Michael, we have got an absolute banging game plan and everything is working. We’ve and the perfect sparring for Denzel and I have been putting the plan into action during the sparring.”
Mark Heffron and Denzel Bentley will fight on BT Sport on Saturday September 12 on a card that also features the return of Anthony Yarde to light heavyweight action against Dec Spelman.
The IBF European title will also be on the line at welterweight when the holder Cedrick Peynaud defends against English champion Ekow Essuman. Nathan Gorman returns to the heavyweight picture against Richard Lartey, with lightweight Bilal Ali, featherweight Amin Jahanzeb and debut making super welterweight Josh Frankham also on the card.
Live coverage begins on BT Sport 1 at 7.30pm