Nathan Heaney entered the night as the show’s best ticket seller.

The unbeaten Stoke-on-Trent middleweight provided every fan with their money’s worth as he earned a career-best win over countryman Denzel Bentley.

Heaney pulled off a major upset with a twelve-round, majority decision to earn the British middleweight title. Judge Victor Loughlin (114-114) somehow saw an even fight through twelve rounds. His scorecard was overruled by judges Howard Foster (117-111) and Steve Gray (116-113) for Heaney in their TNT Sports/ESPN+ televised co-main event Saturday evening at AO Arena in Manchester, England.

A card billed ‘The Magnificent 7’ saw Bentley-Heaney moved to the evening’s final bout as a tribute to Heaney selling more than 2,500 tickets on his own. He spent the rest of the night surpassing all expectations, as many had Bentley pegged to score an early knockout over his unproven challenger.

Neither fighter landed anything clean in the opening round. Heaney’s corner was pleased with their charge’s defense which picked off most of the power shots offered by the heavy-handed and favored Bentley.

Bentley pressed the action round two though he still struggled to find the mark. The mid-level contender threw his right hand down the middle but Heaney was defensively responsible enough to stay just outside of effective punching range. Bentley closed the gap and connected with a right in the final 30 seconds, though Heaney landed one over the top just after the ten-second ticker.

The willingness was there for Heaney but Bentley showed his superior skill and power level in round three. Heaney lost his footing late in the round but managed to remain upright after Bentley landed consecutive right hands.

Both boxers let their hands go early in round four, a sequence which saw Bentley get the better of the exchange. Heaney avoided a right hand in the final minute and scored with a counter overhand right.

Heaney cleanly outboxed Bentley and beat him to the punch in a dominant round five. The showing was strong enough to convince Heaney’s corner to have him stick and move as they sensed Bentley would grow desperate to search for the knockout.

The game plan was masterfully carried out by Heaney, who fought from the outside in round six and even showboated between exchanges in round seven. Bentley tried to narrow the distance as he landed the occasional right hand. It was almost always met with a response by Heaney, often in the form of combination punching to the delight of the partisan crowd.

Bentley scored early in round eight but failed to enjoy sustained success. Heaney boxed for the most part but managed to land the more telling blows when both trade punches on the inside.

Action slowed in round nine. Fatigue and frustration appeared to set in for Bentley, who tossed Heaney to the canvas. Heaney flipped to his feet, which drew a rise out of his fans.

Bentley showed a greater sense of urgency in round ten. Heaney circled around the ring in defensive mode before he ran a 30-second drill in his best effort to steal the round.

The eleventh round saw an increase in activity for Bentley, whose corner was pleased with the momentum shift enjoyed in the preceding frame. Heaney applied a similar blueprint where he allowed Bentley to come forward before he let his hands go late. A counter right by Heaney caught Bentley clean on the chin.

Bentley pressed but was unable to land a game changer in the twelfth and final round. Heaney was warned for roughhousing tactics but spent the closing seconds playing up to his adoring fans.

Heaney improved—in every sense of the word—to 18-0 (6KOs). The win was his best by a mile and provided newfound confidence in what is already considered an overachieving career.

The opposite probably rings true for Bentley (18-3-1, 15KOs), who is forced to go back to the drawing board. The setback marked the second loss in Bentley’s last three fights. He offered a strong showing in a failed WBO middleweight title bid versus defending titlist Janibek Alimkhanuly last November 12 in Las Vegas.

Saturday’s defeat was far more damaging, as his team will have to reassess where to take his career.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox