River Wilson-Bent believes that Nathan Heaney doesn’t want to face him for the vacant English Middleweight title now that purse bids have been called by the British Boxing Board of Control.
The BBBofC have set the purse bids deadline for Wednesday, 11th August 2021 for a clash between Midlands Area champion, Bent and fellow undefeated prospect, Heaney to take place by December 2021, following Linus Udofia’s decision to vacate.
The Coventry man, who has won his last three fights inside the distance insists he would be willing to travel to Heaney’s hometown of Stoke-On-Trent to face him.
In an interview with Ali Drew for Hennessy Sports’ YouTube Channel, Bent said, “We’ve shared a couple of rounds, we’ve done a few rounds with each other sparring.
“Yeah, it will be a great fight, especially for the Midlands area. He’s a Stoke lad and I’m Coventry.
“The amount of tickets that we’ll both sell, the roof will be lifted. I think the fight should happen. On my behalf and my team’s behalf the fight will happen.
“The only reason it won’t happen is obviously him. I’d fight him in Stoke in front of all of his fans and I’d walk out first. That doesn’t bother me I want this fight it’s a massive fight. Let’s see what he says.”
The 27-year-old defended his title with a seventh round stoppage win over George Farrell in May, although the champion has questioned if his rival, who is scheduled to return on August 28th in Birmingham, is willing to face him.
Bent continued, “I don’t think he’s up for it to be fair. I hope he proves me wrong but I don’t think he wants the fight.
“I didn’t see him share it [news of the English title purse bids] when it first came out, I messaged him saying, ‘this is cracking, let’s have it’. He looked at it, seen it, didn’t write anything for a while then he messaged me back saying ‘it would be a cracking fight’.
“Then I messaged him back saying ‘Are you up for it then?’ Are we going to do it?’ and he didn’t even reply. So he’s looked at it and not replied that indicates to me that he’s had second thoughts or he hasn’t thought about it and I sense he doesn’t want the fight.”
Bent, a full-time roofer, has been compared to a young Ricky Hatton with a similar exciting, hard-hitting, all-action style, who can sell a huge amount of tickets due to his popular down-to-earth, man of the people, personality.
He said, “Ricky Hatton’s a legend. If I can pull it off and get the same legacy as he has it it will be a dream,”
🗣 “The bigger the fight, The better I perform!” – @RiverOmari94
📺 Watch River’s full interview using the link below.
— Hennessy Sports (@HennessySports) July 20, 2021
Hailing from Exhall, Bent aims to rejuvenate Coventry’s boxing scene that has a rich history with British and Commonwealth champions including Dean Pithie, Neil Simpson, Richard Evatt, Steve Bendall and Andy Halder and he aims to go even further and become the city’s first World Champion.
He added, “Yeah definitely, I want to win the British title, I think there’s been two British champions from Coventry. If I can go on to European and World title. If I win the English next, if I do fight Heaney for it, then it’s the next on the ladder. I’ll keep going up and up. Yeah, bringing boxing back to Coventry will be mad.”