Ireland’s Sean Turner had never been stopped and recently went the distance with Olympic medallist Filip Hrgović. That’s a tremendous sporting achievement, despite the loss, and Turner is the only professional to take Hrgović the distance so far.
Having been lined up, and with plenty of notice, as Nathan Gorman’s next opponent, many said this bout represented a step up in opposition, and a meaningful test for Frank Warren’s young heavyweight.
The oddly nicknamed Sean ‘Big Sexy’ Turner had big plans for an upset on Saturday night but Nantwich’s Nathan Gorman had other ideas. Those ‘other ideas’ won out. Quite forcibly.
Featuring on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s bizarre comeback, Gorman 13-0 (11) dominated and remarkably stopped Turner in the third round of a scheduled ten. The 21 year old victor used his trademark movement and bobbed in and out of range with fast hands. When the time came though he was also dominant on the inside and was the stronger man in close despite being the lighter of the two.
The heavyweight, who studies under Ricky Hatton, worked both head and body impressively, moved well and threw consistently damaging shots. He dropped Turner in the second before stopping him in the third and was so dominant that Turner’s power, exemplified by 8 knockout wins, never became an issue.
What next for Gorman then? A showdown with Daniel Dubois has been mentioned repeatedly and the two, both promoted by Frank Warren, seem keen to fight. A delay is likely with this one though as the two fighters further build their profiles. It seems a case of when, rather than if, the two fight and when they do it will be a domestic heavyweight clash to remember.
Dubois goes into his biggest test, against Tom Little, on the 23rd. He’s expected to prevail but having found everything straightforward in his professional career to date it will be interesting to see how he copes with a man like Tom ‘not so’ Little.
Little moves well and has even posted videos on his social media accounts of previous sparring, in which he skilfully evades some of Dubois’ aggressive work. Admittedly though, the clip is too short to read too much into. The fight with Little seems to be Dubois’ equivalent to Gorman’s step up against Turner and, as a result, in comparative terms, the result and the nature of the result could be telling.
If not Dubois, what could be next for Gorman? There are plenty of vacant Continental and Intercontinental heavyweight belts floating around if silverware is the order of the day, but he already holds the WBC International Silver Title. Alternatively targeting rankings might not be the worst strategy, although the fighters above him in the WBC rankings all represent risky fights.
It’s a little speculative to give an example at this point but, for arguments sake here are a couple: Firstly, Robert Helenius looked the worse for wear when he fought Dillian Whyte not too long ago and he sits 11 places higher up the WBC rankings at present, with Gorman at 34. Secondly, looking elsewhere, BJ Flores is ranked 6 by the WBA and, despite being a decent fighter, would be very vulnerable. He’s more a cruiserweight than a heavyweight and would be unlikely to cope with Gorman’s size and power. He’s also shown that he’s willing to fight in the UK if the deal is right, having previously fought and lost to Tony Bellew on British soil.
For Nathan Gorman Saturday night offered a fantastic boost in form, caught a few more eyes, and gave him the chance to perform on a massive stage, at the Manchester Arena and in front of BT Sport cameras. He rose to the occasion with a perfect performance and whatever he does next the Hatton-trained heavyweight is, increasingly, one to watch.