Home Boxing News Nathan Heaney and Brad Pauls battle to a draw, calls for a...

Nathan Heaney and Brad Pauls battle to a draw, calls for a rematch

Nathan Heaney and Brad Pauls. Photo credit: Getty Images

British middleweight champion Nathan ‘Hitman’ Heaney 18-0-1 (6) retained his title by split draw against Brad ‘The Newquay Bomb’ Pauls 18-1-1 (10) at Resorts World Arena in Birmingham, England on Saturday night.

The 12-round bout was score 116-113 for Heaney, 115-114 for Pauls and 114-114 even.

The 34-year-old Heaney from Stoke-on-Trent was making the first defence of the title he won via majority decision in an upset against Denzel Bentley 18-3-1 (15) in Manchester in November.

Heaney started well against English champion Pauls, 30, but the Newquay, Cornwell native came on late to make the bout close.

“I let him [Pauls] come in way too close to me and he caught me with some good shots, and in two of the rounds, he caught me real good,” Heaney said after the fight.

“I do feel that I won the fight, but it was still a very close fight. I don’t think I lost that because, in the first six or seven rounds, I was boxing lovely and not getting caught by anything. I did what my trainer told me not to do – dropping my hands and getting caught with some really silly shots.”

Pauls displayed grit and determination, proving he can operate effectively at this level. A rematch would be a natural.

“Mixed emotions to be honest. The crowd enjoyed it so I’m happy about that – I always want to entertain,” Paul said.

“I wanted that belt more than anything in the world. I like him, I just wanted his belts. It’s nothing personal.”

Heaney said Pauls proved to be a better boxer than he anticipated.

“I knew already that he could punch, but he impressed me with how he caught me by slipping my shots over the top of my own, which I don’t get caught with,” Heaney said.

“He was excellent and that’s why British title fights are so good. It brings something out of the lads who fight for the title like it did with me in my last fight.”

Promoter Frank Warren thought Heaney deserved the nod but wouldn’t be drawn on whether he thought there should be a rematch.

“I thought he won it by a couple of rounds,” Warren said. “I didn’t agree with the scoring but Brad deserved to get some accolades from the fight. He showed a lot of heart in the other guy’s backyard.

“It takes two to make an entertaining and edge of the seat fight, but I thought Nathan won it.

“He’s going to go home, have a rest and then we’ll talk in a week.”

TNT Sports pundit Steve Bunce believe a rematch will happen.

“Nathan’s a fit man, he’ll recover quickly. If you got to see Nathan on Wednesday you wouldn’t believe he’s been through 36 minutes here. He’s that type of athlete,” Bunce said.

“Brad Pauls will want it. I know there might be a world title fight out there, but why can’t we have that outdoors in September? Let’s go outdoors, let’s go in June, let’s have a rematch.”