My first look at Nathan Gorman last year led me to reminisce about Big Bad John McDermott sitting in the back of a Range Rover eating chicken legs out of Tupperware tubs. Whilst it is clear the young heavyweight has been working hard and improving under the tutelage of Ricky Hatton up in Manchester, his physical definition remains below that associated with a professional athlete.
When viewed in the same ring as Daniel Dubois, a physical specimen of Marvel dimension, it is easy to be dismissive of the fleshy 21-year-old. However, to reach such superficial conclusion is to fail to understand the nuance that exists in the making of a good fighter and the attributes that fighter may possess, i.e. boxing isn’t a beauty pageant.Both Dubois and Gorman remain fittingly considered as ‘works in progress’ and those responsible for their management are eager to remind viewers of their youth, their lack of experience and the need for patience and diligence in the forging of their respective careers. Those paid to chirp on their merits tow a careful line between the hyperbole required to present them as major attractions at this embryonic stage and the pragmatism the evidence laid before us in their fights both demand. Steve Bunce’s attempt to suppress a grin when his previous comparison of Dubois to Mike Tyson were mentioned testimony to the paradox of those impetuses.
In tonight’s contests both fighters were matched particularly cautiously. The moon-faced Gorman against an import over whom he held a fifty pound weight advantage and the shy and retiring Dubois over an opponent with guts, in the intangible sense of the word, in abundance but without the technical ability to throw a punch correctly.
Neither contest merited the name, and were, in short, merely easy extensions to their unbeaten records. The lucrative nature of the heavyweight division and their respective youth is such that Frank Warren has no need to fast-track either or, as yet, apologise for the ease of their victories.
A contest between the two would be bold and interesting, providing it isn’t afforded the hoopla and platform Okolie and Chamberlain were prematurely extended, but it seems unlikely to occur any time soon. I believe, most pointedly, because Dubois would struggle to overcome his less aesthetic rival and as the more viable commercial commodity, he will be protected from that risk.
Warren is a shrewd judge and despite changes over the years to the personnel making the matches for him, he very rarely presides over an early career loss for one of his charges. Tonight remains a poor index for conclusions about either fighter but certainly led me to believe the suggestion Dereck Chisora, even a worn, if not worn-out, version will be allowed to share a ring with Dubois is highly unlikely. Steve Bunce suggested Dubois may need that type of fear inducing contest [v Chisora] to electrify him a little and bring the best from him, certainly there was little evidence of any subtly, variety or lateral movement being added to his obvious power in the rounds he took to overcome tonight’s opponent; a novice former soldier, ‘game’ though the 36-year old was.
Gorman still has the look of the big lad who always stops in the Newsagents to buy Monster Munch and a Coca-Cola, you know, the one who could never find a t-shirt that fits and who’s thighs glowed red in P.E., but he is certainly the more developed fighter. His hand speed is notable, his judgement of distance, driven by decent footwork, is good and he has a a more eye-catching variety of punches too. Again, tonight’s fights are a poor barometer and offered no sense of their ability to hold a shot nor extend themselves over rounds, but I’m inclined to conclude Gorman would more ready for a step up.
I’d also argue, despite Dubois knockout record and statuesque build, Gorman is also more fun to watch. But then, I always liked John McDermott too.