Confidence, momentum and happiness. Three features of Nathan Gorman’s life and career which he has been working on since suffering his first defeat two years ago.
That night in July 2019 witnessed the steamroller operation of Daniel Dubois carry on in typical brute force. Gorman was knocked down in the third while against the ropes and two rounds later Dubois let a right hand go that put a full stop on their long-running rivalry for the time being.
Of course, the Dynamite Dubois ran into a Juggernaut who was bomb proof on a night that ‘DDD’ tried to blow away the more experienced Joe Joyce last November. An unsettling derailment in the career of Dubois which has left him on the sidelines due to an eye injury. A month prior, Gorman got back on his horse and outpointed Richard Lartey while a couple of weeks ago he put on a sweet display against Pavel Sour, punching the Czech for fun, dropping him five times in a two-round victory.
“It was all about confidence after the loss to Daniel,” said Gorman (18-1, 12 KOs) who spoke to Boxing Social after he finished brushing his teeth!
“I had some time out of the ring, but I come back, and it was all about getting some momentum. The Lartey fight was my world title fight because if I didn’t do well then, then God knows what would have happened. I’m very happy at the minute. You hear that cliché a hundred times, but a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter. Ideally, I’d like to be out again at the end of May beginning of June. Keep busy, keep active.”
While his loss to Dubois did not provide a potentially career threatening injury or significantly set him back it has still been something of a rebuild for Gorman in the 21 months since. The 24-year-old has learned the type of lesson that only boxing can provide. You take your defeat, as well as your lumps and bumps, look at what went wrong in the first place and go again.
Gorman admitted in interviews afterwards that he had been going through some personal problems in the run-up to the British title clash against Dubois. It isn’t ideal to be going through anything close to home in the run up to such an occasion but we’ll never know if Gorman would have won without the disruption. But again, he looks back at that build-up for guidance and the experience means he now has a firm stance on what he would do should something similar occur again.
“I’ve learned to listen to myself. If anything goes wrong now in the build-up to a fight, I’ll just pull out because you can’t go into a fight 99% mentally. You’ve got to be 100% because that one per cent will get you found out. And unfortunately, on that night I got beat, the better man won on the night and it showed. All I did was blame myself but with hindsight I should have pulled out of the fight and rescheduled it,” he said.
Gorman has been learning about himself over the past couple of years. Something that has worked alongside regaining his love for boxing. He is moving the pressure that he used to stack on his shoulders to one side. He’s enjoying the fight week experience once again and once in the ring knows that if his best isn’t good enough then he has to accept it and deal with it.
The bumpy learning curve has been a lot to process for a young man who jokes that, while he may look 30, the fact is, he hasn’t turned 25 yet. Nineteen fights in as well as the ups and downs of life are shaping him into a different proposition but there is still work to do. One facet of the whole package is his weight. He isn’t the sculpted body beautiful of an Anthony Joshua but there are some pounds to be shed as many observers have remarked. Gorman is acutely aware but reminds us that this isn’t a body-building contest and one thing that he does have in his favour is stamina.
“It doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you can fight. Let’s be right, the lineal heavyweight champion of the world [Tyson Fury] isn’t ripped to pieces but can fight for the fun of it,” said Gorman. “Yes, I need to be two or three pounds lighter. They got my weight wrong last time [for the Sour fight]. I was seven pounds lighter than I was last time out against Lartey. They said my weight wrong. I was 19 stone six ounces, not 19 stone six pounds. So, I was six-seven pounds lighter than they initially thought.
“I’ll be back in the 18 stones for my next fight, probably 18, 7 – 18, 6, something like that and just build off it. I’m growing into my own body. I’m never going to be an Anthony Joshua, ripped to smithereens. I’m not made that way, but it doesn’t matter. As long as I’m fit for 12 rounds which I am. I can do 12 rounds standing on my head. Ask anyone who has watched me train and spar. I’ve also boxed 12 rounds so it doesn’t matter what I look like as long as I can perform, and I feel good.”
To the future then. Gorman will continue to chip away at his redevelopment but that doesn’t mean goals have been forgotten about. He has already lost one tilt at the British heavyweight title (currently held by Joe Joyce) and an ambition for 2021 is to get another opportunity at the Lord Lonsdale Belt.
“That’s one of my main goals for this year. British and Commonwealth titles ideally but any title to be fair. A title’s a title. I want to win a title, that’s what I want this year,” said Gorman.
And he would love nothing more than to face a credible opponent. Which for Gorman and his promoter Frank Warren does not include a fight (title or non-title) against heavyweight novice and fellow Queensberry Promotions fighter David Adeleye, despite his recent call-out of Gorman.
“I don’t consider entertaining that fight to be honest. If I go in there and smash him to bits for three or four rounds what credit will I get against a 5-0 guy who has been fighting in four-rounders?”
One name that does continue to get mentioned for Gorman as a British title opponent is that of Matchroom’s Fabio Wardley.
“That’s a big difference,” Gorman says. “A credible opponent, former English champion, just come off a win against a former world title challenger. Fabio’s more credible. If there’s anyone that can box for a British title, it’s Fabio. He’s the most credible opponent out there. Not David Adeleye.”
Main image and all photos: Queensberry Promotions.