Punching machine Matt Hainy is taking the ‘Rocky’ road to the top.
Hainy was set to challenge Nick Blackwell for the English middleweight championship at Derby Rugby Club on Saturday night on the ‘Double Trouble’ show promoted by Mitchell Promotions.
Blackwell has pulled out to meet Martin Murray for the British and Commonwealth titles on June 18 and then a proposed Midlands Area title defence against Leicester left-hooker Martin Concepcion came to nothing.
Hainy will now meet Lee Noble from Sheffield for the vacant International Masters super-middleweight belt under a marquee.
The super-fit slugger from Derby is taking his inspiration from a reel-life boxing legend.
“I watched all the ‘Rocky’ films when I was growing up and have got all the music from the sound tracks on my ipod,” said the 29 year-old.
“I listen to it when I’m out running and it motivates me. The music is timeless and really drives me on. It might not work for everyone and I’m sure some people would laugh, but it works for me.”
Noble is a slick dangerman from the Ingles’ gym – and has pulled off shock wins before.
He stunned previously-unbeaten Pat McAleese last September with a stunning one-punch knock out to claim the vacant British Masters light-middleweight title and has also beaten Irish champion Ciaran Healy in Belfast.
Hainy’s manager, Clifton Mitchell, says fitness will win the fight for the local favourite and hopes victory will finally lead to an English title chance later this year, possibly against Billy Joe Saunders.
Hainy holds the Midlands Area belt at 11st 6lbs and as a kick boxer, he conquered the world.
He won the World Open title in his weight category a decade ago before deciding to just use his fists.
Another title fight on the ‘Double Trouble’ show features Dave Ryan defending his Midlands Area light-welterweight title against former champion Gavin Deacon and the undercard features former English light-welterweight champion Scot Haywood, Ty Mitchell, Leon Mrvik and Paul Frost.
Tickets are available from 01332-367453.