By Jonny Stapleton
PERENNIAL prospect Stephen Ormond has finally got a chance to secure his place in the big time and will fight for the WBO lightweight Intercontinental title in Liverpool on December 16.
The Rock has long since been tipped as the man to fill the void left by the retirement of Bernard Dunne and is hoping to take a massive step toward fulfilling his potential by smashing Carl Johanneson on a Box Nation Broadcast Show.
Ormond believes topping a show with a distinct Irish feel, set to be broadcast live around the UK and Ireland will help him prove to boxing fans what the hype is about.
However, he claims winning a belt recently owned by Kevin Mitchell, whom he was initially meant to face, via victory over a name like Johanneson will not only raise his profile, but will put him in World title contention.
The former Irish amateur stand out, 28, has been linked with a fight with WBO interim world champion Ricky Burn, whom Johanneson holds a win over, and victory could leave two fights short of a shot at the Scot.
“This is my break through fight. I have been waiting along time for a chance to show what I can do. If I get a win here it moves me closer to all the big lightweights in Britain and Ireland and closer to a world title fight,. This is a massive step towards fulfilling my potential and gives me a chance to move closer to a shot at Ricky Burns,” The pascal Collins trained fighter told Mirror Sport.
“It is my first time on TV so I will have a bigger audience and hopefully I can show what I can do. He is a great opponent. Carl is a good name. I used to watch him a lot he isn’t too not skilful but he is tough and he will there all the way to the final bell. He might think as I have not gone 12 rounds before that he could catch me late on. I am training hard for 12 rounds though and there is a great buzz down the Celtic Gym. I am happy Box nation will show it because people at home get a chance to watch it.”
The fight menu which is being promoted by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions in association with Omega FM and Pascal and Steve Collins Celtic Gym has a distinct Irish flavour to it.
Oromond’s fellow Celtic Gym prospects Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan and Ian Tims will also
trade leather on the show whilst exciting amateur Karl Brabozan will fight without the vest and head gear for the first time.
O’Sullivan will defend his Irish middleweight title against Belfast’s Tommy Tolan and Irish
Cruiserweight strap holder Tims will fight former Barry McGuigan managed fighter Chris Keane.
The man that prepared Kevin McBride for his world famous win over Mike Tyson, Pascal Collins believes his Irish fighters can benefit from his UK link and will like Ormond get break through fights over the next year.
A brother to Irish boxing legend Steve Collins, Pascal hopes O’Sullivan will eventually get a shot at Commonweatlh title Jamie Cox, but for now is focused on helping the Clondalkin lightweight move into the main stream.
“Celtic Gym have a new company onboard, Omega FM myself, Steve, Queensberry Promotion Frank Warren have a relationship developing. The first of what we hope will be a number of cards happens on Friday December 16,” Collins told www.irish-boxing.com.
“Stephen Ormond challengers for the vacant WBO Intercontinental lightweight title against the very tough Carl Johanneson. The Leeds man will be tough. He has been sparing Ricky Burns and is in shape, but at this stage Stephen has to mover up. It is a big opportunity for Stephen Ormond fighting for a title against a guy who beat Ricky Burns. We plan to win this one then defend the tile before chasing Ricky Burns.
“Spike is fighting Tommy Tolan for the Irish middleweight title. We wanted Anthony Fitzgerald for the that fight, but things didn’t work out. We then asked Lee Murthagh and
Ciaran Dufffy, but they said no too. Ian Tims is in a six rounder with Chris Keane and Karl Barabozan is making debut. Karl feels he was messed around IABA. He was hurt he wasn’t picked for the World Championship box offs despite making the National final against the odd so he decided to go pro.”