ONLY rarely do Area title fights fail to deliver and this one, for the vacant Midlands Area middleweight belt at a noisy Kings Hall, certainly didn’t disappoint, local favourite Nathan Heaney edging home 96-94 on the card of referee-for-the-night Kevin Parker at the conclusion of a 10-round cracker against West Bromwich’s Tom Stokes.

With things seemingly level after two rounds, unbeaten Heaney made the breakthrough in the third, staggering Tom momentarily with a clubbing right. But the West Brom man came roaring right back in the very next round when he slammed home a short yet telling left of his own.

By the eighth the see-saw contest looked to have swung towards the muscular Stoke man by the narrowest of margins and with precious little to choose between the two warriors down the final straight it he was he who hung on to take the win at the conclusion of a great scrap. 

The only scheduled six on the undercard failed to run its allotted distance when middleweight Luke Caci from Newcastle-under-Lyme, already four rounds to the good against Yeovil’s still-winless Bryn Wain, completed the job one second short of the midway point in the penultimate stanza, the visitor showing no inclination to rise from one knee after being dropped by a right.

None of the remaining fours saw a round conceded by the home boxers, most impressive of whom was Telford’s Liam Davies, who twice floored heavier London-based Swede Edward Bjorklund. A hard right did the trick in the third and a similar shot late in the last saw Edward counted after touching down.

Mr Parker scored that one 40-34 but rightly adjudged the two remaining matches as shut-outs, Stafford’s Rob Hunt, in his first outing for almost a year, seeing off Brierley Hill’s MJ Hall and Derbyshire’s Connor Parker, who picked up a cut by the right eye along the way, doing likewise against game Devonian Des Newton.

The Verdict For the second successive week Potteries fight fans get their money’s worth.

Nathan Heaney (159lbs 10oz), 7-0 (2), w pts 10 Tom Stokes (154 1/4lbs), 11-3 (1); Rob Hunt (152lbs 14oz), 26-5-2 (3), w pts 4 MJ Hall (149lbs 14oz), 0-39 (2); Luke Caci (167lbs 6oz), 8-0 (1), w ko 5 Bryn Wain (167 1/4lbs), 0-27; Connor Parker (144lbs 10oz), 11-0 (1), w pts 4 Des Newton(145lbs 6oz), 7-7 (2); Liam Davies (124lbs 10oz), 4-0 (1), w pts 4 Edward Bjorklund (131 1/4lbs), 1-22-1 (1).