Two pro wins out of two for Mansfield boxer Nico ‘Lightning’ Leivars

Mansfield’s Nico ‘Lightning’ Leivars made it two wins out of two in his fledgling professional boxing career with a unanimous points win over Chorlton's Stephen Jackson in his first ever six-rounder at the Elland Road banqueting suite, Leeds, last weekend.

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 1:41 pm

The 22-year-old bantamweight was on the bill of local hero Jack Bateson, who beat Diego Alberto Ruiz to land the vacant WBA Intercontinental super bantamweight title.

“He was a lot tougher than my first opponent. He could hit if you walked onto a shot,” said Leivars.

“He has never been stopped and never looked like being stopped.

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Nico Leivars in action in Leeds.

“I knew I had a hard task ahead of me. He was very rough on the inside as well.

“So it was a very good learning curve for me going forwards, learning to deal with it.

“It went really well. We've been working on a lot of things in the gym so it was nice to put them into practice in the ring and get him off. It was a really good fight.

“I was coming on strong towards the end of the fight. But he was a very tough, experienced lad so he knew how to survive and weather the storm.”

'Team Nico' are triumphant at Elland Road.

He continued: “I was never looking to stop him early as you can look to stop lads but get too keen to go forward and get a head clash or walk onto a shot.

“It is always about being wary about what is coming back, even when you are on top. You should never rush in.”

Leivars, whose dad Julian is among his coaches and who is managed by MTK Global, won his first pro fight back in March with a comprehensive points victory over Jose Hernandez on the Leigh Wood bill at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena.

Leivars, whose dad Julian is among his coaches and who is managed by MTK Global, was again backed by a good following of fans in Leeds.

Nico with fans at Leeds last weekend.

“It is always nice to be on a good bill. It was a great venue and a great show. It was also nice to take a lot of travelling support,” said Leivars.

“It can be difficult to get to my fights if it's far away, so I was really appreciative of all the support that came with me.

“It felt like I was boxing in my back yard, there was that many people there behind me.”

Those fans won't have to wait long or travel as far for Leivars' next fight as he has been added to the bill for Dalton Smith's fight against Sam O'maison for the vacant British Super-Lightweight title at the Utilita Arena Sheffield on 6th August.

Nico in action against Stephen Jackson.

“I am back out again in a few weeks,” he said.

“It is another Matchroom show at Sheffield Arena and it is another big show, so I am fortunate to be on it and I will be on with a number of my clubmates as well so it will be a great experience.

“My opponent has not yet been confirmed, but all I am concentrating on for the next few fights is learning and taking what I am doing in the gym into the ring and improving with every fight. I am not rushing anything.

“I am only young and have a long career ahead of me, so I have to keep my head down, keep working hard and not rush things.”

As a huge Mansfield Town supporter, Leivars retains his career dream to fight for a world title at the One Call Stadium.

“That will probably be a few years yet. Let me win a title and I will bring it back,” he smiled.

“I will know when the time is right to take the opportunity. I know it will happen one day and I will be on that pitch.”

He is also optimistic for Stags for the new football season.

“It was heartbreaking to lose at Wembley but the positive is that in October we thought we were going down,” he said.

“At that time we'd have snapped that end to the season out of someone's hands if offered.

“Hopefully we can now get a season of being consistent instead of half a season then we are going up, no worries.”