The 30-year-old middleweight from Stoke-on-Trent, England was the star of the show at a boxing event in his hometown as he took on Malta’s Christian Schembri for the vacant IBO continental middleweight title.
Fighting in front of his hometown fans in the biggest fight of his unbeaten career, Heaney was determined to make an impact, and he made sure he did just that, right from the very start of his walkout.
He appeared from behind the curtain and strutted across the stage as the Tom Jones classic, “Delilah” played over the Kings Hall PA.
The song was famously adopted by the city’s football team, Stoke City, who sing it from the stands at every match, and the Stoke-based boxing fans did exactly the same, as they sang along to “Delilah” at the top of their lungs, with Heaney singing along himself from the stage.
And, unlike Deontay Wilder’s now-infamous ring walk for his rematch against Tyson Fury, it didn’t detract from his performance as Heaney went home with the gold after picking up a unanimous decision victory, and the IBO continental title.