Farnworth boxer Jack Flatley went the distance in his highly-anticipated rematch against Nathan Heaney - but lost by a unanimous decision.

The three judges scored it 99-91, 97-93, 97-93 in Heaney’s favour after a thrilling main event in Telford live on BT Sport on Saturday night.

Middleweight Flatley had been eager to put the record straight after the initial bout between the pair ended in controversial circumstances following a clash of heads last September.

‘The Quiet Storm’ maintained a fast pace throughout the 10 rounds, showing aggression and getting on the front foot as much as possible.

Despite his best efforts, Heaney was judged to have been more effective on the night and was crowned WBA Continental Middleweight champion.

The Stoke-born fighter, who extended his record to 16 wins, had a strong backing from those in attendance at the Telford International Centre.

Heaney was pleased with his performance but praised 28-year-old Flatley’s toughness, particularly in the opening round.

The 33-year-old said: “First round, I knew he was going to come at me so I had to come at him. I hit him hard and hit him fast. I thought to myself, ‘he is tough’. It felt like I was really whacking him but he is so tough.

“He got a cut off an accidental clash this time like I did in the first fight, but it wasn’t as bad as mine was.

“He picked up a bit and I let him get too close. But I think in round five, that is when I started boxing and moving a little bit more and making him miss. I was happy with how it went.”

When asked how it was different to their first bout, he added: “The first fight was quite boring because I was boxing to a certain tactic, and Jack was boxing but not really pressing me.

“It made for quite a boring first four rounds, especially in front of a crowd at the Manchester Arena.

“The atmosphere wasn’t the same because my fans were so far away, but I knew it was going to be intense and intimidating (in Telford).”

The fight received plenty of attention on social media, with one fan writing: “All I can say is wow! What a classic performance from them both, proper old school warriors.”

Another added: “An outstanding fight. Credit to both men, tough as nails. 10 rounds and took some big shots.”

The defeat means Flatley’s record now has four defeats from his 25 professional outings.