British ring legend Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton boldly announces that his heavyweight charge Nathan Gorman won’t just dominate the domestic scene, he’ll conquer the world, writes Glynn Evans.
Still only 21, the 6ft 3in 18 stone Cheshire colossus – a descendant of the late great gypsy ‘knuckle’ fighter Bartley Gorman – has already racked up nine wins, seven stoppages and a Central Area title since storming the pro scene 19 months ago.
‘From the first time Nathan walked through my gym doors, he seemed like a natural fighter; a seasoned campaigner,’ claims the four time, two weight world champion who has trained Gorman throughout his entire pro innings.
‘The kid had everything; power, chin, desire, heart, stamina. I was absolutely astounded that he’d only had 12 amateur fights and had only been boxing seriously for two and a half years.
‘Britain has taken over the world heavyweight division in recent years with the likes of David Haye, Tyson Fury and now Anthony Joshua.
‘And, as a Brit, I’m hugely excited about the conveyor belt of talent coming through that hopefully can prolong that. We’ve some great talents such as Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois but I’m very confident that Nathan Gorman will be the one who comes out on top.
‘His potential really frightens me. At 21, he’s an absolute baby. Heavyweights ordinarily don’t peak until they hit 30. What could he become?!’
This weekend, the ex national junior champion and one time World Youth rep tops the bill from Blackpool’s Winter Gardens. It’s his first gig since recently penning a long term deal with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren.
‘Signing with Frank is really going to project my profile and help secure the big fights,’ says the confident and surprisingly mature Gorman who resides in the quaint village hamlet of Nantwich.
‘I’ve done all the hard stuff on the small halls now it’s time to make a statement on the big bills. Frank can provide the platform for me to showcase my skills.’
As Gorman begins to impose his enormous presence in the northern halls, ex Team GB squad mate Daniel Dubois travels a parallel path down south and, with both inflicting their carnage beneath the Warren standard, the pair could be heading for a seismic collision to establish who fronts the British charge at world level over the next decade.
‘Daniel and me have already sparred numerous rounds when we were in Sheffield,’ recalls Nathan.
‘He’s a decent long fighter, does the basics well. All men over 15 ½ stone carry knockout power and he’s certainly no different but I’ve never been off my feet in my life. We’re both unbeaten prospects so, if that remains the case, it’s bound to happen down the line.
‘I’ll certainly not be shying from it. It’s not about looking after an unbeaten record. Sometimes you have to roll the dice. There’s talk of an English title fight between myself and (Chertsey’s 11-0) Nick Webb and I’ll have that anytime. If I’m as good as I believe I am, I easily beat your Nick Webbs. Of all the rising British heavyweight prospects, I honestly see myself as the one coming through.’
While Gorman’s thumping fists confined him to just 21 rounds during his opening eight outings – as he marmalised a trail of dubious imports – the power tower significantly accelerated his ring education last time out with a dominant 10 round shut out over New Cross nugget Dom Akinlade, beaten just once previously in 10.
Yet it is testament to the lofty standards the traveller sets himself that he departed disappointed.
‘I’d only give myself four out of ten for that performance,’ he assessed (rather harshly).
‘Ideally, I should’ve boxed a bit more but it was one of those nights. I possibly came in too heavy (18st 9). I don’t have the greatest metabolism and my weight varies so I have to be constantly on top of it.
‘Also, initially it was meant to be for the English title but Dom carelessly got outpointed in his warm up fight and the Board pulled it (title status).
‘Still, I got good rounds in and always felt in control against a former Southern Area champion, no ‘walkover’ job. The experience will hold me in good stead. Ricky always trains me very hard but now I know for sure I can do 10 rounds.’
On Saturday at the iconic Winter Gardens, Hatton’s pride endeavours to expand his fan base by sizzling in a scheduled eight rounder against Portugal’s useful looking Antonio ‘The Animal’ Sousa.
‘The kid also has loads of K1 experience and comes to fight,’ warns Gorman.
‘He only fights top lads with winning records yet he’s taken several unbeaten continental prospects the distance. He’s only been stopped once in 10 and he’s beaten guys who were undefeated.
‘There’s some very good fighters like Jack Arnfield and James Metcalf on the bill so I’m honoured to be topping it. I’ll have to deliver a special performance. I’ll not succumb to pressure. I’ll thrive off the challenge.
‘If Ricky’s happy, I’m happy….but everybody loves a spectacular knockout!’