While Anthony Joshua enjoys his reign as the big noise in world heavyweight boxing, Morson ambassador Nathan Gorman is poised and waiting for his time to shine– and if it doesn’t work out, there’s always a career in darts to look forward to!
The Nantwich man with fighting blood in his veins – his great uncle Bartley Gorman was the bareknuckle ‘King of the Gypsies’ – can’t wait to start snapping up titles under the guidance of boxing legend Ricky Hatton.
“I was late into boxing; I was about 16,” Nathan said. “I was always up the gym sparring but I never took it seriously until I went to South Cheshire ABC and a fella called Nathan Clarke, a professional himself, trained me. I won the ABA’s and got on the Great Britain squad and then got invited down to do some pad work with Ricky. Obviously, you’re not going to say no to that! Ricky was a hero of mine growing up and I jumped at the opportunity. He liked what he saw, invited me back from coming once a week or so, and gave me the option to turn professional. It was too good of a job, so I binned the amateurs and it was the best move I’ve made.”
To pursue his dream, Nathan makes a 100-mile round trip each day to train at Hatton Health and Fitness in Hyde. It’s a commitment the 21-year-old is happy to make as he looks to provide for his young family – “you get in a routine – and I have a supportive wife!” There’s a camaraderie amongst all at the Hatton stable which includes Irish super-middleweight Chris Blaney, Macclesfield prospect Jake Haigh, middleweight Mark Heffron and former GB star Stacey Copeland.
“Every one of the fighters in the gym is ambitious. They all want to strive for the top,” said Gorman. “There are no superstars in this gym, everyone’s grounded. Ricky himself, for all he achieved, he’s just one of the boys.
“We have strength days and hard days. Monday, Wednesday, Fridays are the hard days. We get beasted! Tuesdays and Thursdays, we do strength, which is tough as well. It all gels good. We’re all very competitive, we have loads of little challenges.”
While the UK will host its first world heavyweight unification fight when Anthony Joshua takes on Joseph Parker in Cardiff in March, the division is thriving domestically with a whole host of prospects looking to make their name.
“There’s no better time to be a part of the heavyweight division,” Nathan explained. “The champion is from England and I look at him [Joshua] and that’s where I want to be in four or five years’ time. All I’ve got to do is keep on winning. That’s the main thing.”
Before he gets his rather large hands on elite honours, Nathan knows he’ll have to battle it out with the other young British fighters with similar ambitions including Martin Bakole and Daniel Dubois.
“I’ve sparred all the [heavyweight] lads, but for me personally, I’d probably say Bakole is the most talented. Daniel’s got a lot of hype around him – he’s doing the job at the minute – but he does have a lot of hype around him. I definitely would say Bakole’s the best, but to be honest, I’d fight any of them and I know I’d come out on top.” Nathan added.
Despite his youth and relative inexperience with just eleven fights under his belt (eleven wins, nine by way of knock out), much is expected of Nathan both as a boxer and as a role model for the travelling community.
“They [travellers] are taking boxing more seriously now I think. Tyson [Fury] and Billy Joe [Saunders] are the benchmark for all the young travelling lads. From a young age, they’re always in the gym, but nine times out of ten they don’t take it seriously. Now, when they see Billy and Tyson winning world championships – and hopefully the likes of me fighting for world titles – they look up to us and think, ‘yes, it is possible.’
“Billy and Tyson have shown that travelling lads can earn a living this way. So many lads win national titles but then just chuck it away and go working. Tyson and Billy Joe are multi-millionaires with world titles.”
So, what about his friend Fury’s chances of ruling the world once again?
“Once he gets his licence back, if he boxes like he did against Klitschko, then he’s the best heavyweight out there,” Nathan said. “He has to get back to the way he was, a big six-foot nine switch hitter who’s very awkward. I reckon he’s top of the tree, he beats Joshua if he can get himself back to the way he was.”
For now, Nathan – a very genial baby-faced assassin – is happy to keep learning under the ‘Hitman’ until it’s time for him to unleash his own fury on the world stage. His reputation is growing, and coming from a rural Cheshire town not exactly noted for its pugilist pedigree, he’s already a well-known figure on his home patch.
“It’s nice to be recognised,” he says with a smile. “In the local shop I’ll get, ‘are you the boxer?’ I am quite well known around Nantwich. But then there’s only a handful of people in Nantwich!”
As is the case with most fighters, everything is based around training – whether there’s a fight date in the diary or not. When there is the opportunity for some downtime, Nathan heads for the pub – but not for the beer.
“Apart from eating – I love darts! I’m a big fan of darts so I go out to the local and have a few games of darts. Other than that, it’s a boring life really, just training and boxing. But that is the life.”
It would seem Nathan’s destined for the top and it could well be a compelling compelling double – first as ‘Rocky’, then on to the oche…