Heatrick beats ‘scary’ illness to win thriller

SUFFOLK Thai boxer Don Heatrick overcame a worrying illness to win his latest fight, battling a racing heart-rate and extreme fatigue to claim a unanimous points decision at the King of Kings 5 event in Cambridge.

Heatrick, who collapsed and was taken to Addenbrookes Hospital after the fight, beat Mike Dagley from Stockport Thai Fighters in a 78kg contest despite suffering from tachycardia during the five round bout.

It was a tremendous effort from the 39-year-old, co-owner of Bury St Edmunds’ Unit One combat sports and fitness gym, who said he knew something was seriously wrong in round two.

He added: “Between rounds I couldn’t get my breath at all and my usual rapid recovery was non existent.

“I could hear the MC calling seconds out and I couldn’t believe I’d had any break – my heart was racing.

“It felt like one of those bad dreams where I was hitting as hard as I could but there was nothing happening – except unlike a dream there was a guy in the ring with me trying to knock me out.”

Heatrick was kept in hospital hooked up to an IV drip overnight, where it was discovered that his tachycardia had been caused by a severe reaction to a nasal spray he’d taken just before the fight.

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And despite the drama, Heatrick has vowed to fight on.

“It’s scary, but I need to fight again to prove to myself that this isn’t a problem,” he said. “I know I’m asking a lot of my wife, family and corner team, but I’ve got to do this.

“I won the fight unanimously and I wasn’t even present in my mind. I need to find out what I can do fully fit before I consider retirement.”

On the same bill, talented teenager Joe Le Maire, who also fights out of Unit One, defended his UKMF 40kg British title belt with a dominant points win over Mace Rugg from the House of Pain gym.

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