Luke Heron admits that his toughest opponent is himself.
The West Bromwich middleweight, real name Luke Walker, has earned plenty of plaudits in his opening two fights as a professional boxer but, after joining the paid ranks from white collar boxing, admits that he has struggled at times with the discipline required to fulfil his undoubted potential.
The 22 year-old made his debut in October 2015, stopping fellow debutant Bryn Wain, before recording a points victory against Lewis Van Poetsch in December. However, after changing jobs and slipping out of the day-to-day training regime, Heron has not fought since.
Now though, fully-focused and back in the gym, Heron is set to enjoy a third pro outing on Black Country Boxing’s ‘Summer Scorcher’ – sponsored by Grosvenor Casino Walsall – at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday, 9th July.
“After my second fight, looking back, I should have been straight back in the gym,” he told www.uko-boxing.com. “That wasn’t the case and then it was soon Christmas and in the New Year I started a new job. It was shift work so I struggled to get in the gym and, if I’m honest, just putting it off.
“The days roll into weeks and the weeks roll into months; I was my own worst enemy. I put a bit of weight on but then realised this is what I want to do. Coming from white collar, I never taught myself how to maintain my weight and fitness. It’s a lesson learnt now though and I’m ready to kick on. My biggest opponent is myself and now I’m in the gym, I’m going to stay here.
“I’ve learnt to juggle work and training and I’m feeling fit. Making weight is the hardest part of being a boxer. I’ve got that nailed now so it’s all about enjoying my training and learning the art of the sport.”
Heron has been able to learn from one of the best thanks to a number of rounds sparring with former British and Commonwealth Champion, and world-class amateur, Frankie Gavin. That, coupled with regular sessions at Wednesbury Boxing Academy under the watchful eye of manager, Errol Johnson, has given Heron confidence that he can forge a career in the paid code.
“It’s been an intense few months but I’m loving every minute of it,” he added. “People have told me that I’ve got a natural ability for the support and, if I’m honest, I see that myself. I pick things up quickly and the sport comes naturally to me.
“I don’t want another break as long as I’ve had. I want to put that behind me and run with things.
“Sparring Frankie was a great experience. He showed me the art of boxing and showed me a few ‘one and two’s’. He’s class and you can only learn from those sessions. He gave me some good advice and said some nice things about me, which was good to hear.
“Errol trains me hard too and I’ve been working with Jordan Clayton and Lennox Clarke who are on the same bill as me so everything has been good so far.
“I know I’m capable of good things and that’s what I’m focusing on.”
Tickets are priced at £30 (general admission) and £60 (VIP Ringside), and can be purchased by calling 0845 111 2900 or directly from any boxer on the bill.
As well as Lennox Clarke and Jordan Clayton, Ludlow’s British Challenge Super Welterweight Champion, Craig Morris, Stafford’s former Midlands Area Welterweight Champion, Rob Hunt, Birmingham super welterweight, and Tipton super featherweight, Lee Glover, also feature.
Coventry welterweight, James ‘The Full Monty’ Montgomery and fellow West Bromwich fighters; middleweight Tom Stokes, and super featherweight Jack Summers complete the card.
The weigh-in and aftershow (over 18’s only) take place at Grosvenor Casino Walsall, Bentley Mill Way, Walsall WS2 0LE (just off junction 10 of the M6). GC Walsall will have a presence at the Town Hall on the evening and have linked up with local taxi firm, Yellow Taxi’s, to supply a number of free taxi’s to take guests from the Town Hall to the casino post-fight.
Find out more about Grosvenor Casino Walsall here: http://www.grosvenorcasinos.com/local-casinos/walsall/