Frank Warren Promotions ress release
Unbeaten Irishman Stephen Ormond heads into the biggest fight of his career this Saturday night when he takes on the tough, all-action, Scotsman Paul Appleby for the Vacant Celtic Super-Featherweight title at the Braehead Arena.
The fight features as chief-support to Ricky Burns’ WBO World Lightweight title defence against Paulus Moses, live and exclusive BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.tv
Family background: I’m the only boy but I’ve three younger sisters. I live in Dublin with my girlfriend and I’ve a three year old son called Lennox.
Trade: I used to work on the building but now I’m a full-time pro.
Nickname: ‘The Rock’
What age did you become interested in boxing and why? There’s a lot of boxing all through my family. My father Patrick Ormond was an All –Ireland (amateur) lightweight champion and lots of my uncles boxed. I started when I was seven and had me first bout when I was about 11.
What do you recall of your amateur career? I started at the St Matthew’s Boxing Club in Dublin and was briefly at St Micks as well. I was coached by (ex world champion) Bernard Dunne’s father, Brendan (a 1976 Montreal Olympian), and Greg Ormond, my uncle.
I’d have had well over 200 amateur bouts, possibly nearer to 250, and maybe lost about 25. I won two All-Ireland junior titles at featherweight then three All-Ireland seniors; one at feather, two at lightweight.
I must have boxed on 30 occasions for my country and went to multi-nations all over the world but I never went to any of the really major tournaments. I was due to go to the World Seniors in Bangkok but got injured. I boxed an excellent Canadian, several top Russians and Yanks including, get this, Andre Dirrell at featherweight! He beat me on a majority in Ireland. I also boxed lots of good English boys but, right now, I can’t remember any of their names. Too many digs!
I had a great time in the amateurs and got to travel the world and have the banter with terrific lads like Kenny Egan, James Moore, Andy Lee, Andrew Murray, Paul McCloskey, Alan and Stephen Reynolds. They’re all great mates.
Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? When I was 23, I had to take over a year and a half out to have laser treatment to correct my vision. When I returned I chose the pros. I always thought my style was more suited.
There’d been a bit of a pro scene going when Bernie Dunne was riding high but it faded away so I went over to America. I had my first four fights out of the Kronk gym in Manhattan (New York) where I was looked after by (ex two weight WBA champion) Joey Gamache. I had a great start but it was always my intention to come back home.
Tell us about your back up team: Since July 2010, I’ve been promoted by Frank Warren and I’m now managed and coached by (Paschal) ‘Packie’ Collins, who’s former world champion Steve Collins’s brother. He’s fantastic. He spent 15 years in the States with the Petronelli Brothers who brought Marvin Hagler through and he teaches an American style. Steve’s also here a few days and always gives good advice.
Three mornings a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I work with a strength and conditioning coach called Brian Guy. He’s making me strong. I’m still hoping for some sponsorship deal to sort out my nutrition.
What’s your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy? I train Monday to Saturday and, on the days I visit Brian, its three sessions a day. I’m up at 5.30 for a six mile run though, closer to the fight, I replace that with short, fast sprint work. Brian’s sessions start at 11, then, at 4p.m, I’ll go to The Celtic Warrior’s gym in Dublin for a two hour boxing session with ‘Packie’.
There, it’s all technique work; shadow boxing, pads, bags and sparring. For my fight against Paul Appleby next weekend, I’ve been sparring with Kevin O’Hara, Carl Frampton, ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan and a good Russian lad. Appleby’s a nice lad and tough fighter who’ll come to war but I’m confident enough. Let’s just say, I don’t train to lose!
Possibly my favourite part of training, oddly enough, is the early morning run. That really clears my head and, knowing I’m out there, always makes me feel good about myself. I enjoy most parts of training except making weight. Between fights I never stray too far over 10stone because I always keep the running up.
Describe your style? What are your best qualities? It really depends on what I’ve got in front of me but, essentially, I like to box my way forward, giving angles and applying educated pressure. I used to be overly reliant on my left side but ‘Packie’s’ evened me out now and I’m far more two handed. I’m settling down on my punches a lot more of late so I’m hitting harder.
What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? I need big fight experience to see where I’m at. If I come through this fight and keep winning, the sky’s the limit. That’s my attitude anyway.
What have you found to be the biggest difference between the pro and amateur codes? For a start, you’re no longer part of a team, you’ve no longer got team coaches on your back. In the pros, it’s your job. Consequently, there’s a more relaxed feel to the pros. You know you’re doing it for yourself and your family. Also the atmosphere at the big pro shows is awesome, far better than amateur competitions.
Who is the best opponent that you’ve shared a ring with? Bernard Dunne (former European and WBA super-bantamweight champion). He’s also from Clondalkin. Growing up, from the time I was about 15, we sparred loads of rounds together. ‘Barnie’ was about four years older and he really taught me a lot, showed me that winning is everything. He was fast and strong plus a classy guy.
All time favourite fighter: Chavez. Old Chavez (JC senior)! I love that left hook to the body.
All time favourite fight: Gotta be Hagler-Hearns.
Which current match would you most like to see made? Same as everybody else, Pacman- Mayweather. I always thought Pacman would win and I’d certainly like him to win but, after struggling in his last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez again, I’m no longer so sure.
What is your routine on fight day? I’ll rise about 10 o’clock and throughout the day I’ll have a lot of carbs; regular small portions, stuff like oatmeal, eggs, beans. I’ll not have much meat. I try not to think about the fight early in the day. I may go for a walk but I struggle to relax. I wouldn’t say I was overly nervous. I’m looking forward to it as much as anything. I may hang around the hotel lobby for a bit with the rest of the fighters. In the changing room, I like a bit of banter then sit down and get my mind frame right. I say a little prayer that both my opponent and myself emerge safe from serious injury.
Entrance music: Cos it’s close to Paddy’s Day, it’ll have to be a bit of ‘House of Pain’(an Irish American hip hop band)
What are your ambitions as a boxer? To just keep going, keep winning. I never look beyond my next fight. Everything’s just fight by fight.
How do you relax? Just spending time with my kid and my girlfriend. I’m a real family person. I watch a bit of football but, basically, I’m always around the boxing. If I’m not actually doing it, I’m at a show or watching it on the box.
Football team: Man United
Read: Gangster novels. I like to read. It keeps my mind occupied.
Music: Irish music. All sorts really.
Films/TV: I like gangster films like ‘Scarface’ and comedies.
Aspiration in life: To be someone my own kids are proud of and to help and inspire other kids.
Motto: Do your own thing and always did it 100%!