Perth’s hugely talented and world ranked featherweight boxer, Nathaniel “Cheeky” May, steps back into the ring on July 8 against Filipino fighter Roman Canto.
May returns after recently winning the vacant IBF Pan Pacific featherweight title in April against another tough Filipino Randy Braga in his hometown of Bunbury, a place he really thrives in when fighting.
“The last couple fights in Bunbury have been awesome” said May, “it's always good to fight in my home town, the crowd go crazy and really get behind me”.
It’s been a year of learning and skill development for the highly rated featherweight, with a recent visit to Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in the United States culminating in some valuable sparring rounds against some of the world’s best fighters.
“Sparring in the USA was great”, said May, “I managed to get some hard rounds in with a different level of fighters, it was a great experience”.
Those rounds included sparring with former WBA World super-bantamweight champion Scott Quigg, and Mexican Ray Beltran, a regular sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao and who fought Terrence Crawford for the WBO World lightweight title.
May said, “They both had different styles, but they didn’t over power me or push me around, so I guess I went pretty well”.
Mentor and trainer Peter Stokes, has continued the diligent preparation of his gifted fighter, ensuring no let up in the training and conditioning for the fight against Canto.
Stokes said, “Like always it's a hard training camp we’ve put him through. We always focus on strength, speed and power, and specifically with Nathaniel, his movement and angles”.
“We always work on different variations and we continue to work on the weaknesses we can see in Nathaniel too. We have to make sure that in every training camp his skills keep lifting to another level”.
Stokes was also hugely impressed by May during the visit to the United States, confident that further doors would be opening in the near future.
“This was Cheeky’s second time sparring at Wild Card, and it's always world class sparring”. “There was no doubt that he really impressed our American friends, he sparred exceptionally and he just lifts to another level who ever you put him up against”.
“For me, my early day belief that I could make him a world champion is getting so close to being a reality”.
Hopes are high that May could be part of even bigger things in the coming year according to Stokes.
“We hope to fight on the IBF champions show in Macau later this year, then on a Top Rank show in the USA”, he said.
“Top Rank were very impressed with Cheeky and they came out to watch him spar and I honestly believe that after a few more fights, he will be fighting for a World IBF title”.
“We have a couple of top promoters showing a keen interest in him. We are waiting to hopefully sign with one of them soon, as we need a big promoter behind us to get the chance”.
CDL Boxing promoter Ty Colman was delighted to confirm May’s appearance at the Western Alliance 21 show.
“Nathaniel is on the road to bigger and better things, so of course we are delighted he continues to allow us to showcase his skills to the boxing fans in Perth.”
“We’ve just seen what Jeff Horn achieved against Manny Pacquiao and I believe that Nathaniel can go on to be just as successful in his own right in the featherweight division.”
You can catch Nathaniel “Cheeky” May in action at Western Alliance 21 on Saturday, July 8, at the WA Italian Club in Perth.