By Jonny Stapleton
The three ringside judges may have awarded the decision to Paul Appleby, but everyone including Frank Warren, his staff and Team Appleby know Stephen Ormond won the pair’s recent featherweight battle in Scotland, according to Pascal Collins.
Ormond’s trainer is adamant his charge was robbed of the career-changing win his performance deserved, but isn’t wallowing in defeat and is keen to take an optimistic viewpoint.
The Celtic Gym owner is delighted that perianal prospect Ormond finally conveyed what all the hype has been about with a winning display on the road against a former British Champion.
The man, who manned Kevin McBride’s corner when he defeated Mike Tyson, claims the performance will only help the Clondalkin fighter’s career.
“After the fight we where disappointed we didn’t get the decision. We are not disappointed in how Stephen performed. He knows he won the fight, most of Frank Warrens staff know he won the fight and anyone that watched it knows he won the fight,” Collins told Irish Boxing Radio.
“Frank Warren was very impressed. I spoke to him on the phone and his words where along the lines of, Stephen is only a baby in the game and that he has big plans for him.”
Stephen will fight in six weeks time. We plan to get him a win, give him a break then look for a title fight before winter. That was only his 12th fight. Paul Appleby was up for the fight cause he knew it was last chance saloon.”
Collins, a brother of the Celtic Warrior Steve Collins, did take the positives from the rotten Appleby fiasco, but that doesn’t mean the injustice sat easy with him.
The trainer, who also works with Irish champions Ian Tims and Spike O’Sullivan, believes referee Richie Davis was the worst he has ever seen.
He even went as far as to suggest Davis was aiding Appleby in times of trouble and that without the man in the middle’s interference Ormond would have stopped the Scot.
“I smelled a rat near the end of the fight when Stephen got deducted a point when it was actually Appleby who was doing a lot of the holding and hitting Stephen in the back of the head. I did complain to the referee and I got told where to go by the ref and the commissioner,” Collins added.
“The judges were from Scotland so in that regard we are a round or two down from the start. That happens in every country if it where in Ireland the Irish fighter would be favourite, but the referee was stopping the fight for silly reasons. I don’t know if he wanted to be the center of attention or what? It seemed to me he was breaking up the momentum of Steve. The referee would jump in when Steve was on top and talk to them, treating them like children. He was the worst referee I saw in my life.
“Up and until the fifth round Steve was on top and looked like he would get a stoppage win, but then the referee got involved. I don’t want to get myself in trouble, but it looked like the ref was giving Appleby a break at times.”
Team Appleby smiled for the cameras and waxed lyrical about how they won a close encounter of the boxing kind after the former young British boxer of the Year’s hand was raised.
Collin’s however revealed their actions spoke louder than TV interview words and suggested they where aware that they where fortunate.
“Billy Nelson offered us a rematch in the ring he was so embarssed. Appleby said before the decision to Stephen that he thought it was a draw. I think he was hoping for a draw and when he won fell to his knees. I would have given 3 rounds to Paul Appleby and that is being generous. I knew Steve was winning the fight and I knew Appleby was going to come out and try and knock him out in the last round,” Collins continued.
“What I did say to Steve right after the fight before the decision was announced you done everything right, you won the fight, boxed great, but you might not get the decision.”