Heffron moving to next level

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Super-middleweight boxer Mark Heffron is confident that he can reach the next level now that former world champion Ricky Hatton is in his corner.

The 25-year-old joined “The Hitman” at his base in Hyde last month with former coach Kevin Maree taking on a managerial role.

Ricky Hatton and Mark Heffron. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Ricky Hatton and Mark Heffron. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Hatton, one of the most beloved and popular British boxers of all time, who was voted Ring magazine’s Fighter of the Year in 2005, will be calling the shots for the first time on Saturday when “Kid Dynamite” takes on Polish journeyman Bartlomiej Grafka at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.

Heffron goes in to the bout with one of the best knockout percentages in the UK with 13 stoppages from 15 professional triumphs.

“I’m enjoying it down here at Ricky Hatton’s Gym,” he said. “I’ve been working on loads of new things that I’ve not worked on before. I’ve been here just under a month and I’m learning a lot.

“It’s a good feeling because I know he’s been there and done it and now he’s passing it on to me. I feel that he will take me to the next level which is where I want to be.

“I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait for my next fight. It’ll be the first time with Ricky in my corner so I’m buzzing.”

Heffron is already being sounded out as a future world champion at 168lbs but the Oldham-born pugilist is refusing to rush anything.

“I’m definitely going to be a world champion one day,” he said. “I’m just taking it one step at a time now and when Ricky, my manager and my promoter, Frank Warren, say I’m ready to be moving on to titles I’ll move up. Ricky knows what it takes and he can take me up the ladder.

“I’ve got big confidence that I’m going to make it to the top. At British level I can’t really see anyone that is going to bother me. I think I’ll beat them all.

“When the time is right, in a year or two, I think I’ll be ready to fight any of them. When I am ready to fight them I’ll beat them, especially with Ricky training me.

“I want to be able to take it to that next level. Ricky is going to bring that out of me.”