Brad Pauls believes that he is being overlooked ahead of his British middleweight title fight with Nathan Heaney.

A boxer is only as good as their past appearance and in September 2023, Pauls (18-1, 10 KOs) stopped Mitchell Frearson in the final round to win the English title. His display is regardless of being overshadowed by the brilliant performance Heaney (18-0, 6 KOs) produced to win the British title from Denzel Bentley in November. Theirs is a meeting between two fighters in the form of their lives.

“It’s all about your mindset and people have to remember that I’m not here by accident, I’m here by accolade,” Pauls told 32Red. “I won the English title and that’s put me in this position. Nathan seems like a lovely bloke but I just really want to take that belt off him.

“Funnily enough I mentioned it before the fight was offered. I said I’d love to fight Heaney because I think he’s quite beatable. A couple of weeks later I got a call to fight him. It was almost like destiny to be honest.” 

Pauls may be a big puncher but don’t expect the 30 year old to gamble from the opening bell. He believes that he will carry a threat for every second the fight lasts but was a national amateur champion and knows that power is a result of timing, technique, positioning and decision making.

He will need all of those qualities if he is to pin down Heaney, 34. The champion followed his game plan to perfection to win the belt from Bentley. He presented the Londoner with a constantly moving target and when he did get hit with a clean shot, he smartly flurried to prevent the big-punching Bentley from following up. Pauls believes that those painting this as a classic boxer versus puncher match-up are underestimating both.

“I know Nathan can dig in and have it when he wants to and people don’t seem to rate my boxing ability at all,” Pauls continued. “We’ve both got any extra string to our bows. It’ll be interesting. They see my record and think I’m a brawling heavy hitter who comes forward but there is an element of boxing skill that I have. I don’t think I would have got this far if I didn’t have any. It’s up to me to apply it and get the win on March 16.”

Had this fight been made before Heaney upset Bentley last November, numerous observers would have marked Pauls down as the favorite to beat the fighter Stoke. Heaney showed that he can rise to the occasion. Pauls must take his opportunity. 

“What goes up, must come down,” he said. “He reached his lifelong dream and now it’s my time. It’s a belt I want more than anything and I can only give Nathan credit for his last performance and the way he beat Bentley. I just believe Nathan’s very beatable. We’ll see on fight night.