In different circumstances, Nathan Gorman could possibly be enjoying an even greater share of the limelight. Intelligent, powerful, young, of fighting stock and with footwork and speed far superior to the average heavyweight, Gorman, 12-0 (10), at this early stage at least, looks to be the well rounded, well drilled, complete package.
Yet the Cheshire man is boxing in strange times. Times when the heavyweight division is pulling in audiences and making money like never before, and when discussions quickly dissolve into a Joshua- Wilder- Fury- Povetkin merry-go-round that, aside from frustrating the listeners, doesn’t leave much sunlight for the fighters lingering just below the treetop canopy.
Therefore, he will need to look spectacular this weekend in order to earn himself any headlines, especially on a show that marks the return of one of the biggest trees in the heavyweight jungle. Gorman is undoubtedly aware that all eyes will be on Tyson Fury, and so will need to deliver a superb performance against Ireland’s Sean Turner this Saturday if he is to turn much attention his way.
Turner, 12-2 (8), from Dublin, is cut from capable gatekeeping cloth. His most notable win came two fights ago when he knocked out Arnold Gjergjaj (who’s cameo role in David Haye’s short comeback trail brought him brief notoriety), but was unable to capitalise on that victory in his next fight, a points defeat against amateur standout Filip Hrgovic in February.
Still, he was the first to go the distance against the hard-punching Croat, and can cause real damage with his sharp left hook when he is up close. Unafraid to march through heavy artillery to land shots of his own, Turner is a test for most fighters outside those stepping up to world level. Stopping him will take real effort, but that is exactly what Gorman must do in order to keep up with the rest of the pack. With fellow prospects like Joe Joyce winning the Commonwealth title in only his 4th fight and Daniel Dubois knocking people out for fun, nothing but a dominant win will see him keep pace with the domestic contenders.
Luckily, Gorman has the skill set to bring matters to an early close. Ten of his 12 victories have come before the final bell, and obscure imported opposition has gradually given way to decent local talents, all of whom have been soundly dealt with. A 5th round knockout win over previously undefeated Mohammed Soltby in November last year is his best win to date, and a similar fate may await Turner, who’s high guard will invite Gorman’s thumping body shots early on. Turner, who comes in at a stocky 18 ½ stone, will keep matters competitive for as long as possible, but will likely fade as the fight wears on, and could be withdrawn just beyond the halfway mark. But not, however, before he has provided Gorman with a gut check, who will be made to work for his win.
Prediction: Gorman will look to make a statement here by stopping his man in the middle/later rounds, but must do so convincingly to keep up with Britain’s snowballing heavyweight scene