MARK Heffron’s trainer insists the Oldham favourite will be back – and better than ever.

Michael Jennings took the decision to pull the 29-year-old out of his British middleweight title fight with Denzel Bentley due to an eye injury.

Caught in the second round, Heffron’s left eye was all but closed after four leaving his corner with no choice but to bring a halt to proceedings.

It was not the night anyone involved had imagined live on BT Sport with Bentley taking the Lonsdale belt in the eagerly-anticipated rematch set up after September’s draw.

Jennings and his brother Dave have been overseeing Heffron for those two contests and are now looking forward to refining their fighter further for a big 2021. 

“Mark will come back from that, he’s nowhere near finished, we’ll just get him started again and get him boxing better,” said Chorley’s former British welterweight champion and world title challenger. 

“He’s a big puncher and he’s one of those fighters that if he can box a bit as well, you’re going to come unstuck against him.

“He’s alright, his eye has gone down a hell of a lot compared to what it was.

“When it came up we thought it might be his eye socket but he’s going to be okay.

“I told him to have a couple of weeks off because it was two fights back-to-back but he wants to get back in the gym on Monday.”

That commitment will serve him well, says Jennings, who is excited about the potential of a fighter who has lost just two of 28 fights as a professional, both of those being for the British title at 160lbs.

“His first fight (with Bentley), he’d only been with us for five weeks,” Jennings said.

“He came to us, was with us for a week and then the fight got announced.

“So straight away, rather than working on things, we just had to work on getting ready for the fight.

“He had a week off after that fight and then came back in and then the second fight was announced.

“We’ve not had a lot of time to work with him on the technical side of things which is what we need to do with Mark, that’s take him back to basics and get everything spot on to make him a better fighter, which I think we can do.

“He’s very dedicated Mark, he’s one of those where you’ve got to give him a day off because he tries to do everything.

“He’s got what it takes, he just needs to be stripped back down and put back together to make sure everything is smooth.”

As for the fight itself, behind closed doors at BT Sport studio in Stratford, Jennings insisted he had no choice but to pull his man out, his long-term prospects at the forefront of his mind.

“He was throwing a left jab to the body and Bentley threw a right hand over the top,” the trainer said.

“Sometimes when you punch you can feel your knuckles straight through the glove and it’s just caught the bone at the bottom of his eye.

“It just instantly swelled up. When he came back to the corner and Kev (Maree, Heffron’s manager) went to work on it he couldn’t see nothing and I just said ‘I’m going to pull you’ and I pulled him out.

“What would have happened? He probably would have gone out and got stopped by the referee anyway because of his eye. He couldn’t see out of it, his eye was completely shut.

“You’re better off saving him for another day. He’s gutted but he knew it was the right decision.”