In some of the biggest Irish boxing news of the year, Dublin lightweight Stephen Ormond has signed with U.S. boxing behemoth Al Haymon. The enigmatic ‘adviser’ is the driving force behind the Premier Boxing Champions series that is bringing boxing back to U.S. terrestrial and basic cable television.
‘The Rock’ joins Haymon’s stable of around 200 fighters and will aim to reap the benefits of dozens of tv dates, audiences of millions, and the fervent Irish-American support on the East Coast.
The Clondalkin man will begin his assault on U.S. domination this weekend on a PBC show in Boston, promoted by Murphy’s Boxing and screened on NBC Sports. Here the 32 year old will face veteran Michael Clark [44(18)-13(10)] – a former opponent of Jamie Kavanagh and Danny O’Connor.
Should Ormond win this bout – and he should – he will look to be fast tracked to a World title shot in the new year against one of the many Haymon-advised top level lightweights.
Specifically though, who are these boxers? Here irish-boxing.com details some potential Haymon-advised Stephen Ormond opponents for down the line.
Top of the Pile
In terms of world titles in the lightweight division, the situation is as follows: WBA – Darleys Peréz, WBC – Jorge Linares, WBO – Terry Flanagan, IBF – Vacant.
Cuba’s Rances Barthelemy [23(13)-0] takes on tough Russian Denis Shafikov [36(19)-1(0)-1] on December 5th for the vacant IBF belt. The Cuban is a Haymon fighter and if he wins this fight in New York he will become the target of all the boxing mogul’s lightweight contenders.
Montenegrin southpaw Dejan Zlaticanin [21(14)-0], who fans may remember for upsetting Ricky Burns last year, is another on the cusp of World title glory having been made the mandatory challenger to Linares’s WBC crown. If the Balkan fighter can wrest the title away from the Venezuelan, Ormond would jump at the chance of being first defence – in what would be a guaranteed throwback toe-to-toe battle.
Mexico’s Miguel Vazquez [35(13)-3(0)] headlines a PBC show in Texas tonight (Tuesday October 6th) and would probably be the most visible and well known Haymon lightweight. The 28 year old last year controversially lost his IBF title to to Mickey Bey (who later vacated). Vazquez will instantly want a shot at Barthelemy should he win the strap, however Ormond will hope that he will be able to wriggle into an eliminator.
Away from this this trio, Haymon advises a bevvy of prospects and contenders all approaching or just below World level. Ormond, on the other hand, is 32 and looking to take one last shot at world title glory – meaning that there are many potential 50:50 crossroads fights that he could take to slingshot himself into contention.
Ivan Redkach [18(14)-1(1)] – the Ukrainian southpaw was recently overwhelmed by Zlaticanin in a four round bullying. A fight between Ormond and ‘El Ucranio’ would be a real do-or-die affair for both boxers
Reynaldo Ojeda [17(9)-0] – currently the WBA-NABA USA champion, a shot at the 26 year old Puerto Rican’s belt could put Ormond in line for a fight with the WBA champion – who will potentially soon be Manchester’s Anthony Crolla.
Alejandro Luna [19(14)-0] – One of the hottest prospects in U.S. boxing. If Ormond were to fight the Californian it would be in the capacity of opponent – a step-up, but still someone for the 23 year old to impress against. An unlikely fight to happen, especially when compared with the others. Nevertheless, if this were to be made, Ormond would be confident of upsetting the youngster
Jamel Herring [14(8)-0] – a U.S. 2012 Olympian and former Marine, ‘Semper Fi’ has been recently stepping up his level of opposition and is understandably a fan-favourite. A Boston v New York East Coast battle with the Long Island fighter could easily be built up.
Robert Easter [16(13)-0] – Another hot prospect from the U.S.A, Easter is a rangy power-puncher and another who has been facing improved opposition in recent times. If Ormond is underestimated – or if Easter’s handlers want to put him in a sink-or-swim fight – a clash with the Ohio boxer could be made.