Oakey to make shock return against Hearns

Tony Oakey celebrates after retaining his WBU Light-heavyweight title in 2003 against Neil Linford with cornerman Frankie Hopkins, left, and manager Frank Maloney  Picture: Matt Scott-Joynt
Tony Oakey celebrates after retaining his WBU Light-heavyweight title in 2003 against Neil Linford with cornerman Frankie Hopkins, left, and manager Frank Maloney Picture: Matt Scott-Joynt
Joel McIntyre Picture: Neil Marshall

McIntyre: I will be British champion

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TONY OAKEY’s ring return has been confirmed – against Ronald Hearns.

The Leigh Park Warrior will meet the former world title challenger in his comeback on November 28.

It would be lovely to make the people proud one last time before hanging up my gloves for good.

Tony Oakey

And boxing legend Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns will be in his son’s corner when the pair clash at the Mountbatten Centre.

Oakey announced his plans for a shock comeback at the end of July, after retiring in 2010.

The 39-year-old’s interest in a return was stirred when a contest with all-time legend Roy Jones Jr was mooted in Liverpool.

That fell through, along with a meeting with Jeff Lacy in the city.

But now Oakey has been given the chance to take on American Hearns, who fought Felix Sturm for the WBA super-middleweight title in 2011.

The WBU light-heavyweight crown will be up for grabs in a contest which has captured the imagination of the boxing public.

Oakey said: ‘This is all one big shock. In many ways it’s about more than a boxing match for me.

‘It’s an opportunity I didn’t ever think would come along – especially now.

‘For a lot of reasons, my heart wasn’t in boxing in the last two years of my career.

‘I’ve been doing a lot for charity, staying fit and now this has come up. It’s mad.

‘This is about the whole community getting behind this and I’m going back to my roots.

‘It would be lovely to make the people proud one last time before hanging up my gloves for good.’