Headingley fight will feel 'very special' for unbeaten Jack Bateson
Walking out at Headingley today will feel “very special” for unbeaten super bantamweight Jack Bateson, as he prepares to compete at the former home of one of his heroes.
The Leeds fighter used to be a regular at Leeds Rhinos matches with his dad where he was inspired by the displays from Rob Burrow. The 38-year-old enjoyed a decorated career which included eight Super League titles and 20 international caps.
He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2019 and has gone on to inspire many more people with the bravery he has shown since his diagnosis. Bateson said: “I am feeling really good, I am excited to be back in front of the crowds - especially at home in Leeds.
“When I was young, my dad used to take me to watch the Rhinos games, back when Rob Burrow was in his prime.
“I always remember being small and young; I was the smallest kid in my class at school. I remember seeing Rob, he was the smallest player with the biggest heart and he inspired me a little bit.
“So, to be fighting at the stadium is very special.”
Bateson will fight Nicaraguan Felix Garcia as he looks to take his professional record to 14-0.
He hopes to get on the title trail with a victory, adding: “I am ranked inside the top 10 in Britain now, so I want to be fighting for titles soon.
“Ideally I wanted this to be a title fight but I am happy to be on the card. I have got a job to do on Saturday, but I want titles in the near future.”