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The Shawnee News-Star
  • McLoud native to make professional boxing debut

  • Wayne Heath, Jr. will fight in the Rumble at Remington in Oklahoma City on Saturday.
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  • MCLOUD – Given his family heritage, it seems only natural that Wayne Heath, Jr. would become a professional boxer.
    Heath’s father, former McLoud police chief Wayne Heath, Sr., was once the seventh-ranked heavyweight in the world and a sparring partner for Sonny Liston. His uncle Loyd Heath started the Heath Boxing Club in 1962, which had plenty of family members as members through the decades.
    Now Heath, a former college football player, will be making his professional debut on Saturday as part of Remington Park’s Rumble at Remington.
    “Everything has been working out great as far as my training for the fight,” Heath said recently. “My timing, speed, reflexes, rhythm are all really on point and where I want to be. I’m ready to go.”
    Heath couldn’t make that claim 18 months ago, after complications from a minor surgery left him in a coma after his kidneys shut down. In all, Heath spent three months in ICU.
    “God had his fingerprints all over this in order for me to be able to do this,” Heath said. “There are a lot of things that had to happen for me to get to this point.”
    A former wrestling state champion and All-State football selection at McLoud, Heath played on the defensive line at Arkansas State.
    “Turning pro in boxing will be more exciting for me,” Heath said. “It’s where my passion has always been.”
    Heath is managed by his brother, David, who is the head wrestling coach at McLoud. He has been training under former welterweight champion Curtis Cokes and sparring with fellow heavyweight Tyson Cobb.
    “[Cobb] is tough as nails,” Heath said. “I consider myself very lucky to be getting that kind of sparring before the fight and it has given me a lot of confidence.”
    Heath will be going against Ed Ellis of Wetumka, a 6-4, 315-pound heavyweight with three professional fights under his belt.
    Gates open for the Rumble at Remington at 7 p.m. Saturday with a full night of boxing set to begin at 8 p.m.

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