A new super middleweight champion is celebrating his new title after coming close twice.

Mark Heffron from Oldham stood proud with his belts as the new Super Middleweight Champion and Intercontinental Champion at the London Copper Box Arena on July 16.

The 30-year-old is no stranger to almost tasting victory of the title twice, before his perseverance and hard work paid off.

He said: “It feels really good to be super middleweight champion, and it’s taken me three attempts at the British title, so it’s made me appreciate it so much more.

“I felt really good during the fight, I think I took off to a great start, I put it straight on Lennox and had him all over the place in the first round.

“I don’t think there was a round where I didn’t hurt him.”

Heffron, who trains with manager Kevin Maree at the Amir Khan Academy in Bolton, held his own throughout the match, as he landed fierce blows on opponent Lennox Clarke.

The fight would have been won in the third round alone when Heffron’s uppercut shot rocked Clarke, but the Manchester fighter resisted.

Still, Heffron gave it his everything, landing heavy punches in later rounds seeing Clarke stumble more than once before referee Bob Williams called it at 2.28.

Heffron said: “Yeah, Lennox was good, he came to have a fight like he said he was going to do, but I feel I punched too hard for him as every time I landed, his legs were all over the place.

“I trained really hard as I always train for each and every one of my fights like it’s a world title fight, but the main thing was the game plan.

“My coach Joe Gallagher put it together for me and we worked on it day in and day out and it worked on the night.”

And while Clarke didn’t take the loss well, Heffron was all too happy to have achieved his dream.

The dad of Poppy Heffron wrote on Instagram: “Dreams really do come true with hard work and dedication.

“I’m on cloud nine and want to say a huge thanks to everyone who came down to show their support, you made some serious noise and made me feel at home.”