Boxing's Next Big Thing Set For World Title After HUGE Win
Jeff Horn may have had a gritty victory over Gary Corcoran in Brisbane on Wednesday night, but it was the bloke filling the co-main event spot that we were really watching.
WA lad Nathaniel Cheeky May was fighting for the WBO Asia Pacific featherweight title and, frankly, he smashed it. Literally.
Rising star Cheeky, who now boasts a record of 19-1 at just 22 years of age, scored two body shot knockdowns in the fourth round then forced the referee to intervene after yet another knockdown early in the fifth.
It's all over Cheeky wins it in the 5th pic.twitter.com/2moc9Q77W9— Cliff Reeve (@Cliff_Reeve) December 13, 2017
However, there was more at stake than just a win.
While Cheeky has been battling in the ring, his coach Peter Stokes has been battling outside of it.
In May, Stokes was diagnosed with B-Cell lymphoma.
“My condition is terminal, but we want to make the very most of the time left,” Stokes recently told news.com.au.
Which is why Cheeky’s big win is all the more satisfying.
“It’s been a struggle, it’s been hard on me and my partner Jo, but we take it day by day,” Stokes told 96FM on Thursday.
“Cheeky understands that... it’s been rough on him too.”
Stokes has known Cheeky since the first day the rising star started boxing in Bunbury.
The world Champ. And the next Australian to be a World champ. pic.twitter.com/7cRQ2Fri2B— peter stokes (@peterst40965867) December 6, 2017
“[it’s taken] a toll on [Cheeky]… he doesn’t like seeing his old coach getting a bit slower every day”
Stokes is, however, spurred on by Cheeky’s emphatic win, and is optimistic about what’s in store for the coming year.
^^Cheeky in action last night in Brisbane
“He’s number 7 in the IBF (International Boxing Federation) at the moment, which will probably shoot up to number 3 or 4 pretty soon,” he told 96FM.
“Hopefully he’ll have a crack at the world title in 2018.”
We’re getting around this one.
^^Stokes with Cheeky (pic credit: news.com.au)