NATHAN GORMAN BELIEVES that, with a good win under his belt tomorrow, he will be right back in the heavyweight title mix.
The affable giant from Nantwich, 16-1 (11KOs) returns to the ring this weekend at the BT Studios for the first time since suffering a sole career setback against former amateur rival Daniel Dubois at the 02 Arena in July of last year.
Gorman, who was at the time dealing with a multitude of domestic distractions he insisted would not knock him off course, was knocked to the canvas twice with the fight ending on the second in the fifth round.
After a lengthy period on the sidelines he is now back firing on all cylinders and determined to remind people of what he is all about when he takes on the unpredictable Ghanaian Richard Lartey, 14-2 (11KOs) tomorrow night on BT Sport.
Both Gorman and Lartey share the statistic of having Dubois as their last opponent, with Lartey engaging in a firefight with the current British champion before succumbing in the fourth, three months prior to Dubois-Gorman.
At the time, Gorman was dismissive of Dubois’ accomplishment of putting out Lartey’s fire at Wembley Arena.
“Yes I was critical,” said the 24-year-old on the level of Lartey. “But now I am fighting him he is the best thing since sliced bread!
“In all fairness to me I was building the fight with Daniel with what I said at the time but, being sensible, Lartey is a dangerous man, isn’t he? He comes for a fight, as everyone knows, and we also know he hasn’t got on that plane to lie down in the first round.”
Lartey and Dubois famously and ferociously traded bombs on a frequent basis across their four rounds of warfare and Gorman is not against the idea of doing likewise.
“If it comes, it comes. Ideally it is not my thing but sometimes the heart can rule the head. First and foremost I just want to win and that is the main objective. If it takes having a dogfight, knocking him out in the first round or winning hands down on points.
“If the knockout is there I am going to go for it, but winning is the main objective.
“If I do the job on Lartey on Saturday I am back in the mix. He is quite known in Britain and there is interest because it is a good fight. We are both coming off losses to Daniel and some will say he gave him his toughest test to date.
“I haven’t got too much ground to make up and, if I wanted to, I could have just had a six or eight rounder to come back against someone nobody had heard of. Then I heard about the Lartey fight and thought if I beat him and beat him well it puts me in good stead to get back to where I need to be.
“This is a good fight for me. I would imagine the winner out of Daniel and Joe Joyce will push on for a world title and I could fight for a vacant British and, ideally, Commonwealth title.”
Nathan Gorman v Richard Lartey features on a bumper night of action from the BT Studios, with live coverage beginning at 7pm on BT Sport 1 tomorrow night.
Also on the card, Liam Williams defends his British middleweight title against mandatory challenger Andrew Robinson and former amateur world champion Willy Hutchinson continues his professional journey at super middleweight.
Heavy-handed lightweight Mark Chamberlain and super featherweight Muheeb Fazeldin round out the card.