“It's not where you start in this game it’s where you end up.”
A telling statement from British boxing legend, now trainer, Ricky Hatton who passed on those words of wisdom to his heavyweight Nathan Gorman (16-1, 11 KOs) not long after the 23-year-old lost his unbeaten record to fellow prospect ‘Dynamite’ Daniel Dubois in July.
As part of a long running advertising campaign that saw Gorman tell viewers ‘I’m the man to beat Daniel Dubois’ the pair were matched for the vacant British heavyweight title in a fascinating clash of young, untested Frank Warren heavies at London’s O2 Arena. After a lengthy build-up Dubois proved to be the better man on the night thanks largely to his jab, back hand and power which saw Gorman dropped in round three before succumbing to “Triple D” in the fifth round. A bitter pill to swallow for the losing fighter who had occasional success with the left hook but, as he told Boxing Scene, fought the wrong fight on the night.
“I went in throwing a big bomb instead of doing what I’m best at: boxing and moving, using my skillset, Gorman said. “I played into his (Dubois) hands really. Instead of boxing and moving and doing what I do best by being awkward and making him miss and making him pay, but I played into his hands with a bit of a slug fest.”
A lesson learned, keen to rectify the wrongs against Dubois in a rematch later on in their respective careers, Gorman has been enjoying some much needed time off with his young family travelling to some picturesque parts of Britain since his last fight.
“I just switched my phone off and spent time with my family. I just needed to recharge the batteries.”
And after such a demanding build up to a fight that had been cooked on the boil for over 12 months it was welcoming for Gorman to return to normality for a while.
“I’m very happy it’s over with. It was just nice to relax and have no worries or stress about anything. Just nice to live a normal life for eight weeks.”
With the rest and recovery over with Gorman has been back in the gym for the first time since his last camp and is hopeful of a return in an eight round bout before the end of the year. 2020 will provide the real test for the cousin of Tyson Fury, a period to rebuild, then to get himself back in the game and remind people that he can become one of Britain’s leading heavyweights.
Gorman is refusing to dwell on the loss, instead choosing to learn from it. A painful lesson it may have been and despite having only watched the first round of the fight before switching it off, the young heavyweight knows where he went wrong and was full of praise for the victor on the night.
“It was the emotions I had inside me going into the ring. That’s what it was,” Gorman answered when asked about why he chose to fight rather than box.
“I had mixed emotions going into that fight and I wanted to do some damage. I wanted to throw a lot of meaningful punches. And like they say in boxing ‘If you lose your head you’ll lose the fight’. That’s what happened that night. Daniel stayed calm, listened to the instructions in the corner and he executed the perfect game plan.”
“It was a very, very good performance,” he continued, “and a very bad performance from me. I don’t want to make any excuses because the better man won on the night but it’s one of them things, he got me on the right day. That definitely wasn’t me at 100% in that ring, that night, and I think a lot of people who watched it will agree. But, like I said, he beat me and good luck to him, I hope he moves forward with his career which he will do.”
Despite describing on social media how he had some “dark days” in the aftermath of the loss, Gorman has realised at 23-years-old he is still a baby in the division, with a lot still to learn, and has come a long way in a short space of time.
“Ricky told me, ‘You’ve fought for a British title, you've headlined the O2, not many 23-year olds can say that’. He said: ‘Look where you've come in a short space of time’, and it were only two year ago I was headlining Walsall Town Hall. To go from that to that (the O2)… it's an achievement in itself but hopefully there's bigger things to come. God willing.”
Gorman has a refreshing attitude, one that is becoming more common among fighters nowadays, about his unbeaten record which he lost and how he wants his career to be remembered.
“When I got beat… you can ask any fighter in the world… it makes you upset because you want to be the best you can possibly be and when you get beat that bubble bursts. It makes you feel very shit to be totally honest with you,” he began.
“The minute I started boxing I was never bothered about the 0 because that's the way I am. I would rather fight a good fighter than a load of bin men for the rest of my life because people would always say you never fought him and him. When I retire I want to say I fought the best I possibly could at any stage. That's where I want to be. I don't want to be known for having a padded record, I want to be known for the person who will fight anyone. When the Dubois fight was put to me it took 5-10 seconds to say yeah and I would do that with virtually every fighter.”