Nathan Gor­man tells Tris Dixon about shar­ing a ring with Joshua, Fury and Joyce, about his love for Mike Tyson and ex­plains why top tar­get Daniel Dubois is not on his Christ­mas list

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Ris­ing heavy­weight Gor­man re­veals ex­actly who he is gun­ning for, and why


HE’s not just a tidy boxer,” said Ricky Hat­ton. “He’s got a mean streak, too.”

Some say Nathan Gor­man stole the show dur­ing Tyson Fury’s come­back bill at the Manch­ester Arena three weeks ago.

He nearly halted 12-1 Sean Turner in the sec­ond round but fin­ished the job in the next ses­sion, his spite­ful streak – along with a good dose of skill and va­ri­ety – brim­ming to the sur­face.

“He was a very cred­i­ble op­po­nent,” Gor­man says. “I know he was com­ing off two losses but those losses, one was ap­par­ently due to some­thing he was do­ing in the gym and one was to the highly touted [Croat, Filip] Hr­govic. And I put on a good per­for­mance and stopped him in three rounds. If the rounds had been longer I prob­a­bly would have stopped him in the sec­ond, if the bell didn’t go. Some peo­ple say I stole the show but it is what it is. I just got in there and done the job.”

The per­for­mance saw plenty sit up and take note of Hat­ton’s heavy­weight protégé who is one of a clus­ter of ex­cit­ing young big men in the coun­try.

He and Lon­don ri­val Daniel Dubois are the ba­bies of the di­vi­sion at 22 and 20 re­spec­tively. They seem to be on a col­li­sion course. It is a fight Gor­man wants, though he will not rush his ca­reer.

“I’m only 22 years of age so in the next five years I’m still only go­ing to be 27 so there’s a long road ahead of me, you know?” he asked rhetor­i­cally. “Why sprint be­fore I can walk – when there’s plenty of time for me. Each fight is cru­cial be­cause it’s all learn­ing and all ex­pe­ri­ence. I only had about 10 fights as an am­a­teur so I need as much ex­pe­ri­ence as I can get. Be­cause once you get there, you want to stay there.” Gor­man is 13-0. Dubois is 8-0. “Do­mes­ti­cally there are po­ten­tially some megafights out there,” Nathan ex­cit­edly points out. “You’ve got me, Daniel, Joe Joyce, all the lads com­ing through and some lads I know com­ing through and after the Olympics Frazer Clarke will be com­ing through so it’s prob­a­bly the best time for Bri­tish box­ing as a heavy­weight now. I don’t think there’s ever been an era like this for Bri­tain in the heavy­weights. My ri­val is Daniel be­cause we know each other from the GB days. We know each other very well. He knows me and I know him. It’s a fight he wants and a fight I want and it’s a fight that makes sense as well. He’s a good fighter but he’s very very beat­able. Ob­vi­ously he’s got good power but have you seen him be­ing hit yet prop­erly? And he can’t hack move­ment be­cause he doesn’t like it.”


Hav­ing sparred with many of the best Bri­tish big men to­day, and hav­ing done hun­dreds of rounds with Dubois, Gor­man reck­ons he has the beat­ing of the heavy hit­ting Lon­doner. He is also aware that there is more hype and ex­pec­ta­tion around Dubois, even though he has had fewer fights than Nathan.

“Def­i­nitely,” ad­mits Gor­man. “He’s had the plat­form from day one hasn’t he?

“I haven’t. I’ve had to do the small hall shows. He’s been fight­ing peo­ple, no dis­re­spect, who he can knock out eas­ily with a jab so he’s look­ing good on tele­vi­sion and he gets the hype be­hind him. It doesn’t bother me at all, good luck to him. But at the end of the day I will go at my pace and if our paths cross they cross and if they don’t it’s one of those things.” “Do you like him?” “Put it this way, he wouldn’t be the first on my Christ­mas list.”

Gor­man is good com­pany. He speaks well, is clearly am­bi­tious and keen to learn.

It is no faint praise for dis­tant rel­a­tive Tyson Fury when he says the lin­ear king is the best he has sparred given that Gor­man has gone rounds with An­thony Joshua, Derek Chisora, Joe Joyce, Frazer Clarke, David Price and Lu­cas Browne.

“By a long way,” Gor­man con­tin­ues, ex­plain­ing why he feels Fury is the best of those he has worked with. “We’ve been train­ing in the gym with Ben [Dav­i­son] and we’re ob­vi­ously re­lated down the line so we go back a long way. I’d never sparred him un­til he came to the Hat­ton Gym. Ob­vi­ously I’m go­ing to spar the uni­fied heavy­weight cham­pion of the world if I can and when he’s spar­ring it’s class. He’s a very clever boxer. He knows his way around the ring. He’s very awk­ward to hit, he’s got very fast hands. He’s by far the best I’ve shared the ring with.

“Joshua is very good. He’s a world cham­pion but at the top tier I would put Tyson. He’s so clever.”

It is another Tyson that helped en­tice Gor­man to the sport. “Iron” Mike Tyson was a prover­bial baby him­self when he crashed and bashed his way to the WBC heavy­weight ti­tle at the age of just 20, a record Gor­man can­not see be­ing bro­ken.

“He’s my idol,” Gor­man smiles, clearly happy to be talk­ing about the con­tro­ver­sial great. “He just didn’t care, he didn’t care about his op­po­nent. He just wanted to hurt him. I don’t think he wanted to win, I think he gen­uinely wanted to hurt peo­ple. He was an an­i­mal.”

It was the mag­i­cal night when Tyson turned Trevor Ber­bick’s legs in 1986 to rub­ber to cap­ture the WBC belt that most in­spires Gor­man, but it’s another mod­ern great who mo­ti­vates him ev­ery day, the afore­men­tioned Hat­ton.

It is a pair­ing that has seen the stock of both rise; Gor­man as the fighter, Hat­ton as the coach.

“At the time I was on the Great Bri­tain squad and I used to go to the Fight Fac­tory in Stoke and I trained down there,” Nathan re­mem­bers of how the al­liance formed. “My man­ager Mick Car­ney said, ‘Would you like to go and do a pad ses­sion at Ricky Hat­ton’s?’ Ob­vi­ously ev­ery box­ing per­son in Bri­tain is a big fan of Ricky Hat­ton so I said, ‘Of course’. I went down there, done an hour, hour-and-a-half with Ricky, on and off, he liked what he saw and he kept invit­ing me back. Prior to be­ing on the GB squad I would go back once a week to him and do pads. I ended up go­ing to a tour­na­ment in Poland and I got a bad de­ci­sion, I got robbed of the gold medal and I thought this am­a­teur game isn’t for me any­way. Plus I wanted to go pro any­way, all the time I was on the GB squad. I never re­ally liked the GB set-up. So I had a chat with Ricky and he said if you’d like to turn over I will train you. I jumped at the of­fer.

“He’s helped with ev­ery­thing. He’s turned me from am­a­teur to pro­fes­sional, from a boy to a man, be­ing a pro­fes­sional in and out of the ring. He has a say­ing, ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ If you start slack­ing in the gym, he won’t let you. You’ve got to give 110 per cent. It’s hard. It’s very hard.”

There is fur­ther in­spi­ra­tion, too. The suc­cess of Fury and another world cham­pion trav­eller Billy Joe Saun­ders – WBO mid­dleweight king – demon­strates that the top ti­tles do not have to be out of reach, they are at­tain­able.

“They’ve set the bench­mark and shown it can be achieved,” Gor­man adds. “Ob­vi­ously Tyson be­ing uni­fied heavy­weight cham­pion of the world, Billy Joe be­ing a world cham­pion at a lower weight… They’ve set goals for younger fighters like my­self com­ing through show­ing that it can be achieved.

“When me and Tyson are in the gym we have the craic with each other. He’s a lovely per­son, is Tyson. Ev­ery­one only knows Tyson for the cam­era but when you get to know him he’s a lovely fella.”

Gor­man doesn’t think he would box ei­ther Tyson or Hughie Fury given that they are re­lated down the line, though he thought Hughie “boxed very well” to win the Bri­tish ti­tle from Sam Sex­ton last month.

His long-term goal is a world ti­tle, and he would like to box in New York’s Madi­son Square Gar­den one day but he re­alises he has plenty to show be­fore fans can be­lieve he is for real.

“I haven’t been in a proper war yet,” he as­sesses. “I haven’t ticked the boxes for my chin, heart, de­sire


GET­TING BET­TER: Gor­man turns on the style against Turner


FRIENDS AND REL­A­TIVES: Fury larks around with young Gor­man


NO ES­CAPE: Gor­man pins Mo­hammed Soltby on the ropes

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