Nathan Gorman got back to winning ways as he ground out a messy ten-round points decision over Richard Lartey in a Commonwealth heavyweight title eliminator at the BT Studios.
Gorman did the better work throughout, but too often it was a case of jab and grab. Referee Bob Williams ticked both off for holding, but it was Gorman who looked the more guilty and Lartey the one who got more and more frustrated.
He looked in poor shape as he scaled a whopping 273 pounds 3 ounces, but revealed that he had lost 35 kg (77 pounds) to get down to that mark, having been unsure whether or not he would continue after losing to Daniel Dubois last year.
“I gained 4-5 stone during the 16 months off, so I have been in the gym losing weight and brushing up technique pointers,” Gorman said. “But that is in the past now. I want to get the ball rolling and get some momentum behind me.
“I think I am about a stone and a half heavier than I normally am and that extra weight tells in the ring. But I have lost 35 kilos getting back into it. I will just keep on moving now.”
It was a clash of former Dubois victims. Gorman was having his first fight since losing his unbeaten record Dubois, who knocked him out in the fifth round of a vacant British heavyweight title fight in July last year, while Lartey had not boxed since being stopped in a four-round shoot-out by Dubois three months earlier.
But any hopes of fireworks were soon eliminated. Gorman was content to try to jab and box from distance, while Lartey pushed forward looking and tried to land heavy shots. But there was too much mauling and holding, as Gorman smothered Lartey up close. Lartey did land a few eye-catching shots, but failed to follow it up and did little work on the inside.
Lartey kept swinging away, landing a decent right in the last round, but Gorman collected a unanimous points decision. Marcus McDonnell scored it 99-92, while Ian John-Lewis and Terry O’Connor gave the home fighter every round, scoring it 100-90.
“It has been 16 months since I was last in the ring and we all know what happened, so it was good to get back,” Gorman said, adding that he hoped to box again before Christmas. “With a game opponent like Lartey, he comes for a go, he id definitely not an easy opponent. It was good to get ten rounds and hopefully we can build off that.
“After the Daniel fight, I turned my phone off for two months an had no contact with anyone. I was umming and ahhing, I didn’t go into the gym, I didn’t even pick up a pair of boxing gloves. Then I thought to myself I am going to give it another go. Today I am more hungry now than I have ever been.”